Moving Sixth Graders Out

Melanie Ching
Melanie Ching

MANOA (KHNL)- More elementary schools in Hawaii are making the move.

They're shifting sixth graders out and sending them to middle schools.

But some parents express concern over a decision to do just that at a Manoa school.

In the fall, Noelani Elementary's sixth graders will be sent to Stevenson Middle school, located two miles away.

Melanie Ching, whose 9-year-old son Brycen is a fourth grader at Noelani, disagrees with this move.

"There's a lot more influences that these 7th and 8th graders can put upon our children. And we don't want to push our children to grow up faster than they need to in our already fast-paced society," she said.

The school's community council voted in favor of the move. It's made up of parents, teachers and students. Education officials say this will give sixth graders a better transition into high school. They also believe more resources are available at the middle school level to meet the requirements of pre-teens.

"The sixth graders are going to do fine either way. Stevenson is a fine school Noelani is a fine school," said Lex Smith, the council's parent representative.

Pam Funai has two kids who go to Noelani. She supports the decision.

"Being a parent, I want my son to stay a little kid forever but that's not going to happen. And we're finding he's already learning about things that we can't control," she said.

The council voted for an extension but it didn't pass. Some parents still hope to delay this decision.