A new year brings about new hope for Frost 6th Grade Academy

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by Brooke Hasch

WHAS11.com

Posted on August 13, 2014 at 1:20 PM

Updated Wednesday, Aug 13 at 1:23 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- More than 102,000 JCPS students headed back to school Wednesday morning ready for a new school year, but for students at one South Louisville school, the day’s excitement stemmed from a recent change.

Just a few months ago, Robert Frost Middle School was a failure in academics, according to state education reports. Now, after years of unsuccessful attempts to raise the school's test scores, Frost was required to replace its principal, the school's board and up to half of its teachers.

Wednesday, the new leader in charge said this is the year for change. Faith Stroud was the first to greet her scholars as the came off the bus.

"I think this is going to be a better success than what people think it is. The teachers are all excited. Of course, it's just the first day of school," Margaret Gumm, a student's grandmother, said.

Some 255 students will walk the halls of the new Frost 6th Grade Academy.  Together with staff they'll help create a first of its kind concept for the district, a school solely devoted to 6th graders.

"By being a small school, you can have a solid laser-like focus on instruction," Stroud said.

The school board, just last December, decided the former middle school needed help meeting the grade.

"We knew if we wanted to get different results, we were going to have to do something differently," Superintendent Dr. Donna Hargens said.

This year, students who would have been Frost's 7th and 8th graders merged with a preparatory wing of Valley High School, allowing for more one-on-one time with the 6th graders.

JCPS student George Reader said that's just fine with him.

"Eighth graders think they're all that and with the 6th graders here, there's kind of going to be a fight in between about who's the best one," Reader said. "I think it's going to be better for all of us."

Reader isn't the only student whose concerns were eased by the one grade level status.

"This will be better,” Angel Mike, student, said. "Because I don't have to worry about them being mean.”

Any worries Mike may have had quickly faded away as excitement of new friendships and a new school year filled the school.

This year's enrollment of 255 is already higher than the 195 originally expected. Attending Frost will have it perks, including a laptop for every student, free breakfasts and lunches and new books provided by LG&E, a neighbor to the school.

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