Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Freshmen may return to Mesa High Schools

With shrinking enrollment and growing competition, Mesa Public Schools is looking into returning freshman to high school campuses after a twenty plus year absence. This will boost the enrollment in many of the high schools, trickling down to the six graders moving to the junior highs and leaving fewer students at the elementary level.

They say that the move will allow for competition, with students in private schools being able to enter public high school directly following 8th grade, instead of having to wait a year to go into high school. They are trying this program with a "bridge" pilot which appears to be working at some of the schools and shows promise for going district wide.

We can see how this problem would be helpful in being competitive for enrollment. However, the question is, how does this program save money? Would MPS then close down and consolidate elementary schools? Would they reduce staff? What other changes would be implemented along with this program?

Overall, we see a lot of potential in this program, but we have also seen the reaction parents have when they think programs are being taken away. Understanding how this Freshmen program would work in the context of the overall Mesa Public Schools overhaul is going to be important for its success.

1 comment:

Heath Reed said...

I think it is a good thing to put freshman back in high school. A a graduate of MPS, and attended all of my grade school years in MPS, I like this change. Im not sure what it means for elementary schools, but what I see I like. I think this can help kids start off better with a lower student to teacher ratio the first 5 years. It could improve the system and the success of its students.

Another reason why I like it is because of sports. I think being a 3 yr HS was a negative for sports. That is coming from a former MHS athlete.