A check with JCHS Principal Melissa Sharp on the first day of school revealed there are about 430 students in the freshman class. “So having all new freshmen and sophomores with their first transition to high school has been a little chaotic but good. The students are excited, teachers are excited, lots of lost people but that’s okay we’re getting them to their spots and finishing our day strong.”
Faculty and staff had recommended the return of the students to the Career Academy campus. Sharp said the JCHS enrollment is down a little bit right now. “Our enrollment is a little below 1,400 right now. Knowing that our enrollment had declined a little bit it seemed like an opportune time to bring the freshmen back so that we could work out some kinks before we move into the new building.” The new Junction City High School facility is scheduled to open in Aug. 2021.
Sharp noted that there is plenty of space to get more students in the current building and room to host classes for them. There are benefits to having the freshman in the same facility as the sophomores, juniors and seniors. “I think having access and equity to programs. Freshman don’t have to depend that they can only take these electives offered this hour because of transportation. Any and all programs that are offered throughout the school day, all of our students have access to those programs. So that way you can try different things, try different electives, work on your plan of study. ”
Sharp also said one transition is negated by this move. “This will be the only year we are transitioning both sophomores and freshmen ( into the building ). So next year for this freshman class when they become sophomores there will be no transition. They’ll be used to what goes on at this high school.”
The JCHS principal pointed out there is another advantage involving busing. “Students always had to bus for activities after school, bus to another route, we had to go pick up freshmen for activities. Just having us all housed in one place is a great asset.”