District 205 Changes to Begin in the Fall

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ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- It seems like summer is flying by, in about a month kids will head back to school. And when they return, there will be a lot of changes in District 205.

A new administration has brought a lot of changes, perhaps one of the biggest ones is a longer school day; District 205 has added back a seventh period.

"Students who need the extra help will have the time now to get the tutoring and the mentoring they need. Also for kids who want to take foreign languages, the arts," said Earl Dotson, executive director of communications.

Another change, middle school students at Washington Academy will move to pod B in the old Kennedy building, which will be called Thurgood Marshall School. Middle school students from Maria Montessori will also move into Thurgood Marshall, into pod A.

The middle school Creative and Performing Arts program, known as CAPA, will move from Ellis Arts Academy to West Middle School. Ellis will become an elementary school. Ellis will also take on two classrooms for alternative education and Page Park school will close. Middle school students will go to a program at the YMCA and high school students will shift to a support center on Kishwaukee St. They're changes some parents were concerned about but district leaders say it will better serve students.

"It was just a matter of looking at what was efficient and what was effective. And those programs were not suiting the needs of our students," said Dotson.

And finally, Dennis Early Education center will re-open. There will be eleven classrooms, seven of which are in partnership with Head Start.

The district will also implement career academies. Freshmen at Jefferson High School will take a class in the Fall to explore different careers. The actual academies won't start until the 2013-2014 school year.

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