Sixth-graders at Chandler’s Andersen Elementary School may attend school at the adjacent Andersen Junior High School next year.
Parents of the elementary school’s current fifth-graders will learn more during a meeting 6:30 p.m. Tuesday night at the school, 1350 N. Pennington Drive. Terry Locke, spokesman for the Chandler Unified School District, said the meeting will a time to get parent feedback, with a final decision to be made later.
“What we’re trying to do is increase capacity at Andersen Elementary due to market demand,” Locke said.
Andersen Junior High has 875 students, but has held more than 1,000 in the past.
Andersen Elementary now has about 600 students, with about 100 kindergartners expected next year, along with any additional enrollment, Locke said.
That school, along with Sanborn Elementary School, is taking any new students who move into what this year is the Knox Elementary School boundary area. Knox is being converted to a campus for gifted students, but only one grade level at a time. Current traditional students will continue at the campus, but no new ones will be admitted, Locke said.
Most junior highs in the Chandler district are for seventh- and eighth-graders, with the high schools taking students in grades nine through 12. But one other district junior high — Arizona College Prep/Oakland campus — does have sixth, seventh and eighth grades.
“There have been no issues at all with those kids together,” Locke said. “You have K-8 (kindergarten through eighth-grade) schools all over the Valley. We’ve done temporary situations before; when Weinberg was overcrowded, sixth-graders went to Payne Junior High for a few years.”
Other East Valley schools have made grade-configuration changes over the past few years, or are in the process of doing so. The Mesa Unified School District previously had junior high schools for seventh, eighth and ninth grades, but completed the transition of ninth-graders to the high schools this year.
Mesa’s Brimhall Junior High School will close as a neighborhood campus after this school year and will become a back-to-basics campus for K-8 students in the fall.
Higley Unified School District currently has K-8 elementary schools, but — when the funds are available to build new campuses — wants to create K-6 elementary schools and seventh- and eighth-grade middle schools.
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