Student opinion: 5th graders to middle school not a good idea

A rather major issue decided in Hamilton recently was the proposed move of the 5th graders to the middle school.

As of the 2014-2015 school year, the class of 2022 will be the first 5th graders in the Middle School.  A major motivation for this decision is the space available at the middle school and the crowding at some of the elementary buildings.

Although this decision has already been established, I am not fully onboard with the idea.  While I agree with the fact that there will be more space in the middle school than the four elementary schools, the students are just not quite ready.

As a graduate of the middle school, I know how joining a new school environment can be. It is a little panicky, and there is a lot of responsibility on the students’ shoulders with locker combinations, lunch accounts, and remembering not to get book fines for the library.

When asked about whether or not her sister would be mature enough to move to the middle school next year, Hamilton freshman Rileigh Eding said, “No! She’s way too crazy to be in Middle school. (The 5th graders) shouldn’t move because they will be doing the same (learning) in the Middle school as in the Elementary schools.”

Children all mature at different ages, but I think fifth graders do not have the full maturity necessary for middle school.

There are things that happen even in the elementary schools as well that some children aren’t able to comprehend, such as the language used on the bus rides to and from school.

“We have considered the language on the bus,” Mr. Tebo, Hamilton superintendent said. “(We) will have a plan to designate sections of the bus for certain grade levels. This is something we will pay attention to.”

The language on the busses has a very strong influence on kids. From personal experience, when I was in elementary school, I learned many words and phrases of which my mother is not proud.

However, the speech only gets worse in middle school, and I don’t think 5th graders should be around that. Although the busses will be split into grade sections, there are not sound barriers for each grade.

On the other hand, when the plans for the remodeling of the Middle School and four elementary schools were made, why didn’t we add more space for the Kindergarten wings?

It was already an idea to move the 5th graders when Mr. Korpak was a superintendent, about 3 years ago. If we already knew we would most likely do this move, why didn’t we add extra space, just in case?

Maybe it cost too much money to do that, but it sure seems like that would have been better.

“I think that they should’ve made more space, not bring the little kids up to a higher level,” freshman Kacie Grady explained. “If they should make any changes, it should be more room at all the elementary schools.”

In conclusion, I have mixed emotions about the change. That said, now that the decision has been made, it appears there’s no turning back now.


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