School board votes to send some YEMS students to YHS

There will be more new students than returning students at Youngsville High School next year.

At a special board meeting on Tuesday, the board unanimously approved a change that will send western attendance area sixth, seventh, and eighth graders to YHS.

Those grades had been served at Youngsville Elementary Middle School since 2006-2007.

According to the official enrollment numbers for this year, there are 178 students in grades nine through 11 at Youngsville. There are 220 in grades five through eight at YEMS.

The changes will save the district about $175,000 by streamlining the offices at the schools, eliminating the need for an assistant principal, a secretary, and an aide, according to information presented by administration during this year’s budget process.

The change had been discussed at the April board meeting as a potential cost-saving issue because of staffing efficiencies.

Board members wanted to know if there is enough space at the high school to accommodate an influx of students.

From 1979-1980 (the oldest records available on the district’s website) to 1999-2000, the western attendance area’s grades seven through 12 went to Youngsville High School and during that time, there were never less than 500 students enrolled in the school. The maximum enrollment there, according to the available data, was 741 in 1979-1980.

“There is space,” Superintendent Amy Stewart said.

The change also makes sense from an educational standpoint, she said. It will bring secondary students together in one building and the Head Start program previously housed at YHS will move to YEMS.

“Principals have been working with staff and students to be prepared if the decision was made,” Stewart said.

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