West Branch is Adding a Middle School


At the start of the 2019-2020 school year, West Branch will see some dramatic changes, that change is…a middle school!

The idea was brought up in 2017 about creating a middle school.  Mrs. Dutrow, our superintendent, recruited a group of administrators, teachers, school board members, and parents to research different scholarly articles, some opposing and some in favor of a middle school concept. This group of people and Mrs. Dutrow looked at several factors that go into creating a middle school, such as how the schedule will go, what classes and activities they would include, the transportation of the kids, etc. The idea of it was to make it unlike the elementary and high school. After all of the research and careful consideration, the group decided that creating a middle school would be in the best interest for the students of West Branch.  In November of 2018, the board approved the middle school concept which allowed Mrs. Dutrow and the rest of administration to move forward.

Mrs. Dutrow explained the reasoning for wanting to create a middle school for the West Branch School District. Mrs. Dutrow says “5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th grades are a unique time in a child’s life. There are a lot of changes happening within this age group, whether it is physical, mental, social or even organizational. During these ages, it’s really the first time a student starts to think about what kind of person they’re going to be.”  From this, the decision was made to create a school between elementary and high school to address the specific needs of these young adolescents.

With the establishment of a middle school, the administration has been working hard this summer preparing for the upcoming school year and all of its changes. To find out more about the middle school and the many changes, stay tuned for a follow-up article to be published soon.