LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- It's the last day of school -- and the start of summer break -- for 101,000 students in Jefferson County Public Schools.
Most students and teachers are cheerful, while others (particularly those in the Class of 2016) are sad for the 2015-16 school year to come to a close.
At Frost Middle School, Thursday marks the final day of classes ever, as part of the district’s plan to combine Frost and Stuart middle schools and move them to the Stuart Middle campus this fall.
The plan to redesign the two schools, narrowly approved by the Jefferson County Board of Education on March 22, will also begin to phase out the Valley Prep program at Valley High.
Superintendent Donna Hargens says she believes the plan will strengthen educational opportunities for students who currently attend the Frost Sixth Grade Academy, Stuart Middle School and Valley Preparatory Academy.
"Frost has had some real success with how to run a sixth grade academy," Hargens said in a previous interview. "There's an experienced principal there, there's a staff, they've done amazing things so what we would do is relocate that. Make sure they have more numbers so you add the other sixth graders so you would have a school of about 400 students."
District officials say there will be two separate schools this fall at the Stuart campus – one for sixth grade, retaining the structure currently in place at Frost, and one for seventh and eighth graders – each with its own, independent leadership and staffing structure.
Faith Stroud, the current principal of the Frost Sixth Grade Academy, will remain the principal of the combined sixth grade academy at Stuart.
The district announced last week that Laura Dalton will be the new principal of the seventh and eighth grade academy at Stuart.
In addition, the district has hired former state administrator Debbie Powers to be the project coordinator in charge of the radical change to overhaul the two schools.
Meanwhile, Thursday also marks the beginning of graduation ceremonies as 6,500 seniors in the Class of 2016 are expected to participate in one of 24 graduation ceremonies that will be held at various locations across Louisville.
GRADUATIONS | JCPS graduation schedule for Class of 2016
The first day of school for the 2016-17 in JCPS is Aug. 10.
- JCPS board votes to close Frost Middle, consolidate it with Stuart Middle
- Report: JCPS middle school turnaround efforts have been 'challenging'
Reporter Antoinette Konz covers K-12 education for WDRB News. She can be reached at 502-585-0838 or @tkonz on Twitter.
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