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PCSSD announces a building swap for Sylvan Hills middle school and junior high students



Little Rock, Arkansas – Middle schoolers and junior high students at Sylvan Hills schools in Sherwood can expect some significant changes.

To better address, the issue of overcrowding, the Pulaski County Special School District has opted to switch buildings.

The present Sylvan Hills Junior High on Bamboo Lane will house Sylvan Hills sixth and seventh graders during the upcoming academic year.

Students in the eighth and ninth grades will attend classes at Johnson Street’s current Sylvan Hills Middle School.

Overcrowding, according to Sylvan Hills Middle School Principal Mike Hudgeons and Sylvan Hills Junior High Principal Yvone West, is one of the primary drivers behind this change.

“We’re between 1,100 and 1,150 and 1,200 kids here, which is a large middle school,” Hudgeons said.

“Sherwood has grown exponentially in a short amount of time,” West said.

According to Hudgeons, it merely makes sense to locate the ninth graders close to the high school.

“The high school and the junior high share more teachers than we do,” he said “We don’t share a lot of teachers with the high school.”

West says having 8th and 9th graders together will better prep them for high school.

“We’re excited about the opportunity to get them in that mindset, to start thinking about this is where credits really start,” West said.

Hudgeons advises keeping children of similar ages together.

“My sixth graders are 11 and 12 years old,” he said. “My 8th graders are 13 and 14. There’s a big difference between 11 and 14 from a developmental standpoint and a maturity standpoint.”

According to West, the existing junior high building’s structure is ideal for younger children.

“This being a smaller environment where you can contain them better, that transition from elementary school to middle school will be a lot easier,” West said.

PCSSD acknowledges that adjusting to the new premises will present some initial difficulties. Nonetheless, they reassure parents that most of the personnel and teachers will remain the same.

“School buildings are more about who is on the inside than what it looks like on the outside,” Hudgeons said.

Other modifications related to this building switch, according to PCSSD, include changing bell schedules for kids. The district is currently figuring out the specific times.

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