District seeks public opinion in naming middle schools

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Infographic by Kalley Lewis

At the beginning of the 2017-18 school year, there will be a large district wide transition between grades. The freshman will be moved to the high school and the sixth graders will be moved to the junior high schools.

Along with those changes, the two Stillwater Area Junior High Schools will have new names and be called middle schools. With this change coming our way, people are wondering if this will be too much to handle for our middle school age students. Two thirds of the students in the middle schools will be new.

“I think the students are going to adjust just fine,” Principal Eric Vanscoy said, of Stillwater Junior High. “We’re planning different processes, procedures and curriculum that are going to help us transition those students.”

The school board is taking suggestions for the new middle school names through the Name Our Schools survey until the end of October. There will be a committee formed once suggestions stop and they will narrow it down to three choices. After that, the school board will vote on the final names.

Carissa Keister, Stillwater area schools community engagement manager said, “The majority of the suggestions are Oak-Land Middle School and Stillwater Middle School, but dozens of other suggestions have also been provided. The committee will meet in early November to bring its suggestions to the school board. A final decision will be made in December.”

The school board wants to make sure that the community and students feel involved in this process. Because of this, they are creating a student advisory council and they will be asked for their opinions and insight on what they think students will like and dislike.

Not everyone will be completely happy with the new names, but it will work out and everyone will get used to whatever the names turn out to be.”

— Bob Manning

Keister said, “It will be interesting to hear what they think. We’re also thinking of ways we can reach out to our junior high students to ask them what they think. We’ll be gathering their feedback in early November, before the school board votes on a final name.”

A final decision will be made in  December and student’s opinions will be taken into consideration. Even if the middle schools do get new names, the students and staff members of the district will still get the same experience they have always had.

Bob Manning, a Stillwater Junior High global studies teacher said, “Not everyone will be completely happy with the new names, but it will work out and everyone will get used to whatever the names turn out to be.”