Negaunee 5th-graders make smooth transition to new building

MARQUETTE – Negaunee fifth-graders are making a smooth transition from Lakeview School to Negaunee Middle School this year, according to middle school principal Dan Skewis.

“We put a lot of planning in last spring and through the summer, making sure the school is ready,” Skewis said. “The time we put in leading into the school year has paid off.”

The fifth-graders have their own area on the first floor of the middle school, with all four fifth-grade classrooms located in the same area.

“It worked out really well because we had four sections of fifth grade and four classrooms,” Skewis said. “It’s almost like a school within the school. The only time they travel off of the first floor is when they go to their specials or down to lunch.”

Skewis said the biggest issue with the transition has been in storage, with limited space available.

However, educationally speaking, Skewis said the fifth-graders probably wouldn’t even notice a difference had they stayed at Lakeview.

“Their education isn’t changing,” Skewis said. “Just the building.”

The Negaunee school board voted in May to move the fifth-grade class to the middle school this year, freeing up room in the district’s only elementary school.

Skewis said since making the decision to go ahead with the move, the district has worked to alleviate any worries parents might have about moving younger children into the middle school.

“There were concerns, I think, just because anytime there’s change people are a little bit apprehensive,” Skewis said.

An orientation was held in the spring so fifth-graders and their parents could see the school and meet their teachers.

A question-and-answer session was held at that time as well.

“Questions were asked and we were able to clear those up,” Skewis said. “A lot of the different apprehensions and concerns were taken care of prior to the year starting.”

Jackie Stark can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242.