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Middle-schoolers awaiting word on in-person return at Fredonia

OBSERVER File Photo

Although the rollout to return to school for most grade levels of Fredonia High School are locked in, there does remain some question marks about grades six to eight. At this week’s board meeting, Fredonia Superintendent Dr. Bradley Zilliox reiterated the plan for the surrounding grade levels, and expanded on why the middle grades are taking a longer time.

“In all the excitement of moving forward, I could have done a much better job about communicating around grades six, seven, and eight,” said Zilliox. “I feel badly I didn’t provide families and students with the information they were hoping for.”

One question Fredonia’s Return to School committee faced was whether to return in waves, or to hold everyone back until a plan for each grade level was set in stone. Ultimately, they decided that if a grade was ready to go back that they should be back, because of the hangups the middle school grades are facing.

“There are some complexities in grades six, seven, and eight,” Zilliox said. “We’re working through it and we’re starting to make progress.”

The big concern for the middle school, especially grade six, is the size of the grade in relation to the classrooms available.

“Grade six has some large numbers,” Zilliox said. “They have 101 students looking to return to school. Our classrooms can hold 14 students, and if you do quick math, you’ll realize you need seven rooms to house the sixth graders. We don’t have those seven rooms.”

This story will be updated in the weekend OBSERVER.

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