Clarion middle school closer to reality

Clarion Area School District plans to create a middle school recently moved another step forward.

The school board approved a “middle school model affirmation” for the 2023-24 school year.

The measure passed by an 8-0 margin (board President Hugh Henry was absent) at the board’s regular meeting earlier this month.

Before the vote, Superintendent Joseph Carrico, in answering board member Todd Bauer’s question of why a middle is needed, reiterated the need stems from a variety of reasons, including social/emotional development, additional space for the elementary school and better development of staff.

“There is not one singular thing that is the driver (of starting a middle school),” Carrico said. “It’s the whole ball of what it represents for us.”

Carrico had hoped to have the middle school up and running by this coming school year, but had to postpone the project for a year in order to give parents and students more time to adjust to the plan and for faculty development.

The proposed middle school will be housed on the northern end of the Clarion Area High School building and will consist of students in sixth, seventh and eighth grades.

“We spent all of last year studying (the middle school),” Carrico said. “We had parent meetings, meetings with staff, meetings with administration. There is a host of reasons why we think this is a good idea.”

Along with the middle school affirmation, the board unanimously approved the district’s membership in the Pennsylvania Mid-Level Educators Association. The cost for membership is $384 annually.

The membership in PAMLE will aid in the development of Clarion Area’s middle school staff.


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