FARMINGTON — RSU 9 sixth-graders from three elementary schools will attend the Mt. Blue Middle School for the first time when school opens Sept. 2.

RSU 9 directors approved restructuring five elementary schools in the 10-town district in February, voting to send the sixth-graders to middle school in 2014-15.

The students will not loop with the same teachers for the next grade as the seventh-graders do now when they move up to eighth-grade.

When sixth-graders move to seventh grade they will begin the looping process, Principal Gary Oswald said Thursday.

The 170 sixth-graders will be divided into two communities, Redington and Kineo. They will join the seventh-grade communities of Katahdin and Sugarloaf, and eighth-grade communities of Bigelow and Saddleback. All communities are named after Maine mountains.

The defunct home economics/family consumer science program classroom has been divided into two large rooms.


“We’ve moved people around because we wanted sixth-graders to have their own block of the building,” Oswald said.

Lab tables are set up in what will soon be a science room. The school is still in the process of getting its summer cleaning done, so it is not as organized as it will be come opening day.

There will be no recess time because the schedule does not allow for it. School board directors received petitions with more than 100 signatures in regard to recess, started by a Cascade Brook School student.

Oswald said no other middle school that he knows of has recess.

When the students finish lunch, they will be able to go outside for five to 10 minutes with supervision. They normally finish lunch in eight minutes, he said.

Teachers also know that if the students need breaks, they can take them outside.


Students will have physical education classes every other day. There is also social time from when they arrive at school to when they go to homeroom. They can walk the loop around the inside of the school, and the students usually map how far they’ve walked. They can also sit in the classroom or work on their laptops.

This year, each grade will eat lunch together, which hasn’t happened in the past.

Sixth-graders will have a Blue and Gold block schedule with core classes being 80 minutes long. They will be enrolled in a foreign language class, either French or Spanish, as well as health, art, general music and other musical offerings.

They will have some opportunities to participate in athletics such as wrestling. Some of the other sports’ availability will be dictated by how many seventh- and eighth-graders there are, he said.

Students will have opportunities to participate in all the clubs at the school, including drama and geography, as well as spelling bees.

The school will have a full-time assistant principal this year. Part-time Assistant Principal Joel Smith, who also taught part time in the last school year, will focus on administrative duties this year.


At last count, Oswald said they were up to 530 students to attend the middle school. There were about 340 seventh- and eighth-graders in February.

This will be the first year school will open after Labor Day, Oswald said.

School begins at 7:50 a.m. and ends at 1:50 p.m.

It is an earlier start for sixth-graders, but an earlier ending, too, he said.

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