The Wentzville School District Board of Education has unanimously approved moving fifth grade from Discovery Ridge Elementary (DRE) to Frontier Middle School (FMS) for the 2015-16 school year due to enrollment growth.
On Saturday, May 9th, during a special meeting, the board voted 7-0 to approve the recommendation of Superintendent Dr. Curtis Cain to utilize space at Frontier Middle for the fifth grade students.
“This is a one year solution,” said Dr. Cain. “When Proposition E failed in November, we knew there would not be enough space for all DRE students in that building this fall.”
Proposition E did ultimately pass in the April election, but the new elementary school will not be completed for at least another year, and the additional classrooms that will be added to DRE are not expected to be completed until the summer of 2016.
“We spent months analyzing and considering a variety of options for housing these students, but ultimately we kept coming back to Frontier Middle as the best option.” Frontier Middle School is located on Highway DD, a half mile from Discovery Ridge Elementary, and it is where DRE students are slated to ultimately attend sixth grade as well.
The fifth graders will continue to follow an elementary school schedule at the middle school; they will have DRE teachers providing instruction, and they will still be considered Discovery Ridge students.
Discovery Ridge has experienced the highest enrollment growth of any school in the District over the last few years. The school opened in the fall of 2010 with just over 400 K-5 students. In 2012, with the passing of Proposition 3, eight additional classrooms were added to DRE. Since then, the school has enrolled 222 new students and currently has over 800 enrolled in grades K-5. Projections indicate there will be almost 900 students enrolled by the start of the new school year this August in a building designed to hold approximately 800 students.
“Living in the fastest growing school district in the state has its challenges,” said Dr. Cain in a message to parents of affected students. “But we are confident with the proper supports in place, this can and will be a positive transition for our students. Above all, we will continue our efforts to increase student learning and achievement, because one of the things that will not change is our commitment to our students and their success.”