Whitney Point Schools To Merge

By Samantha Augeri

July 22, 2010 Updated Apr 8, 2008 at 8:15 PM EDT

As the Whitney Point student population drops, the district is taking a step to bring grades closer together.

Enrollment's fallen by more about 500 students in the last few years.

Its finalizing plans to merge the intermediate and middle schools.

Students at the Whitney Point intermediate and middle school share this building.

They're considered two separate schools with separate schedules.

But when the students return in September, they'll become one 4th through 8th grade school.

"We saw now as an opportunity where we can and it makes a lot of sense to come into one building and share our resources and share our teachers, our staff a little bit better and we'll make it one building," says 4-8 School Principal Daniel Sweeney.

Sweeney will be the new school's principal.

He doesn't expect students to notice much of a difference when they come back in the Fall.

But he believes it will be a positive change.

"Now when they come over from the third grade, they'll be spending 5 straight years in the same building, seeing the same faces, dealing with the same people. I think it will help us get down to the business of teaching a lot earlier in the school year," says Sweeney.

Teachers think the move will help students socially too.

"There's a lot of different ideas like you said mentoring type of things that I think would be real beneficial, and just to come together and work as one big group is something that I'm really looking forward to," says Whitney Point teacher Jennifer Cucci.

The Whitney Point District has been planning the move for the last year and a half.

And while it has most of the details finalized, it's leaving one decision to the students and community.

Naming the new school.

Some details like the number of teachers and staff still have to be worked out.

The district will hold a special meeting for parents and members of the community Wednesday night.

It starts at 7:30 pm at the Whitney Point Middle School auditorium.

You can hear details about the new school and how you can help pick a name.

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