April 27, 2010
The Lawrence school district is reconfiguring its grade structure.
The school board voted Monday night to shift ninth-graders from junior high schools to the city's two public high schools beginning the 2011-2012 academic year.
Sixth-graders will move from elementary schools to new middle schools that will also house seventh and eighth grades.
The Lawrence Journal-World reports that administrators believe the new structure will reduce the dropout rate and give students access to more courses and activities.
For ninth-graders, there's an immediate effect: Even though they'll still be attending junior high schools next fall, they'll be able to take part in athletics at the high schools.
Administrators say that change will save the district about $150,000.