KERMIT, TX (KWES) - A big change for some students over in Kermit. The school district has moved the entire 5th grade class to the junior high. The Kermit school district says there's just not enough room at the elementary school. This past school year, they saw a growth in student population and were scrambling to house an extra 140 students.
"When looking at facility usage, we knew we had a chance to move them to the junior high school and use unused classrooms," said Dr. Denise Shetter, Kermit ISD Superintendent.
The entire 5th grade class now goes to school at the junior high.
"It's been as smooth as everything was planned out to be," said Gabe Espino, Principal at Kermit Junior High.
When the school district first considered moving the 5th graders, many parents voiced concern.
"So when they started doing the plan, they went to the public. Started rolling out the plan and asking parents about concerns so we could address those concerns," said Shetter.
The school district says the biggest worry that parents had were mixing young 5th graders with 8th graders.
"You know the safety issue we made sure and address so we separated the 5th graders so there's pretty much a 5th grade wing. It allows us to monitor a little closer as they transition and mature. We also have a different entrance for them in the morning. We ask them to stand on a different side of the building away from the 7th and 8th graders, again to address some of the concerns of safety from the parents and it has worked well," said Shetter.
Safety is exactly why other options were ruled out.
"When you look at portable buildings, while they work and they do what we need them to do, the safety and security is a little more difficult because they are physically removed from the building and the video monitoring system and they are harder to get to," said Shetter.
The school district says while it's an unusual way to solve overcrowding, it's working out great.
"It's really nice to see a plan work. I mean because in education a lot of times you make plans and some work better than others," said Shetter.
"There's some kinks to the start of every school year but our staff has been great at helping ease those tension areas," said Espino