ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Middle school is crucial when it comes to the developmental stages of a child’s life. They are facing new campuses and new rules, on top of social and academic changes.

The Abilene Independent School District recognized this challenge and created a grade reconfiguration plan to be implemented in the 2024-2025 school year. The plan has been in motion for a while now, but school officials are in the final stages before approval. They are asking for feedback from parents, teachers, students, and more to research what changes and concerns come into play.

Courtesy of AISD

Superintendent Dr. David Young said AISD will reduce the number of elementary school campuses from 13 to 10. This plan will leave room for four intermediate fifth and sixth-grade schools, plus three seventh and eight-grade middle schools.

“Middle school is a crucial developmental time for students. When you transition from elementary to middle school, that’s not the easiest of times,” Young said.

Becca Bass is an Abilene native and the mother of three girls. Bass said her eldest daughter is eight and has a disability. She shared her excitement for when her daughter enters fifth grade and she can attend an intermediate school to ease her transition to high school.

“It’s going to be a good opportunity for her to grow with her classmates and for them to learn about her. That way, she can have closer friendships,” Bass said.

Young said they will use campuses the district already has to create these schools. With the extra space, they hope to create new programs and extracurricular activities for students to enjoy. Young added that these changes can improve students academically.

“Middle schools, it seems like at elementary schools fifth graders don’t really fit with kindergarten through fourth because they are really in a different spot in life and in middle school, the sixth graders are different than the seventh and eighth graders,” Young added.

Jennifer Giesler is a former AISD mom. Her eldest graduated from the school district but her youngest are home-schooled. She said with the grade reconfigurations, it is enough for her to consider coming back to the district.

“I think it will be better for the kids all around to keep the kids in public school I think it will be better,” Giesler shared.

Young said once implemented, the changes will set up students with the skills to succeed in high school. Currently, AISD is holding town hall meetings to address any questions or concerns parents may have.

Details about the reconfiguration plan: 2024-25 Grade Reconfiguration Plan | Abilene Independent School District (abileneisd.org)

Town Halls:

  • February 9 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Clack Middle School
  • February 14 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. at Madison Middle School
  • February 20 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Craig Middle School
  • February 21 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Mann Middle School