WCCUSD board votes to add 7th and 8th grades to 3 schools

WCCUSD board votes to add 7th and 8th grades to 3 schools

Three West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD) elementary schools — Montalvin, Peres and Verde — are expanding to include 7th and 8th grades.

The WCCUSD Board of Education voted to add the two grades at those schools at its meeting Wednesday night, which will make them all K-8 schools. Current sixth graders at those schools will be able to stay for grade 7 in the 2018-19 school year and for grade 8 the following year.

The expansions aim to provide better options for local families and greater continuity and success in the kids’ educational experience, according to the district. In order to be eligible to expand, the schools had to meet a number of criteria, including showing progressive academic growth, a capacity to expand and buy-in from the families of students.

Families at the schools were invested in the idea, according to a district survey. Of 34 6th grade Montalvin families surveyed, 28 expressed interest in remaining at the school for 7th grade. Of 60 6th grade families surveyed at Peres, 40 said they would stay. Of 33 6th grade families at Verde, 27 said they would like to remain at the school.

One issue considered is that adding grades will affect enrollment at other schools. The expansions will impact Helms by approximately 30-60 students, and will also have a minor impact on Pinole Middle, the district said.

Expanding the schools is expected to cost roughly $600,000, according to the district. The plan requires an additional classroom at Peres in the 2019-20 school year for $150,000 and up to three classrooms at Montalvin ($450,000) in 2019-20. No additional classes will be needed for Verde, according to WCCUSD.

The District’s Open Enrollment period, where students can apply to attend a school outside of their attendance area, including one of the new K-8 schools, begins on Feb. 5. More information available through the Transfer Office.