Middle school coming to Palo Christi

Palo Christi Elementary School will take on a very different appearance in the fall.

A seventh and eighth-grade program capable of handling 50 students in each of those two grades will start up when the 2001-2002 year begins in late August.

The program, approved last month by the Kingman Unified School District Governing Board, is expected to relieve some of the student load now existing at Kingman Junior High School.

"We're going to have a traditional setting designed for students who would like to excel in academics during a more traditional classroom day," Diana Logas, Palo Christi principal, said.

"We're going to stress math, science, language arts and social studies with direct instruction from four teachers.

But we're also going to offer physical education, music, computers, library for research and band."

Hours will be 7:45 a.m.

to 2:30 p.m.

Monday through Friday.

The junior high students will have a 40-minute lunch break in which they will be escorted to the lunchroom, Logas said.

Students in seventh and eighth grades who wish to participate in sports will be bused to Kingman Junior High School on Detroit Avenue after school, she said.

It is hoped current Palo Christi students will choose to remain in the school for seventh and eighth grades.

But the program will be open to students from throughout the district, Logas said.

Busing will be provided for students in the Palo Christi area.

Parents of students outside the school's busing area will have to make arrangements to get their child to school.

However, students with working parents will be bused after school to the Boys & Girls Club of Kingman where they will engage in other activities and have supervision until parents can pick them up, Logas said.

The seventh and eighth grade classes will be taught upstairs in the front (main) building.

In addition, two sixth-grade classrooms will be on the second floor, Logas said.

Occupying the first floor will be fifth grade, two skills classes, first grade team teaching in a large classroom, an upper grade special education class and a conference room, she said.

Students in grades 3-4, currently located on the second floor in the main building, will move to the second story of a two-story building on the back of the campus.

The first floor of that back building will house grades 1-2 and special education students in grades K-3.

There also will be a separate building for kindergarten students, Logas said.

In addition, the old school cafeteria behind the main building is being renovated to accommodate the district's alternative program for students in grades 4-9, Logas said.

"We have two teachers in place now for the seventh and eighth-grade program and hope to get volunteers from the junior high school to join us," Logas said.

"This is going to be an extra option for students and parents.

In lieu of electives, we'll offer other courses so students can experience other subjects and areas of interest."

Those courses are expected to include astronomy, chess and publishing a small yearbook on school computers, Logas said.

Logas stressed that seventh and eighth grade at Palo Christi will be a neighborhood school setting which should prove attractive to students who do not feel comfortable on a campus holding roughly 1,200 students like KJHS.

Parents wishing information on grades 7-8 may stop by the school at 500 Maple St.

from 7:30 a.m.

to 3:30 p.m.

Monday through Friday during June or call 753-2472.