Oysterponds sixth graders to take secondary school courses in Greenport

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON FILE PHOTO | Oysterponds school superintendent Dick Malone, center, will announce details tonight about a new sixth-grade program agreement the district reached Monday with Greenport schools.

Oysterponds school superintendent Dick Malone will announce details tonight about a new sixth-grade program agreement the district reached Monday with Greenport schools.

Greenport school officials decided to change its own secondary school program this school year by moving sixth-graders from the elementary school into the secondary school. Those students will now have an opportunity to take secondary school courses, such as technology and home economics.

Oysterponds offers preschool through sixth grade for East Marion and Orient residents and sends its secondary students to Greenport. Both districts are currently finalizing a five-year tuition contract.

Mr. Malone said the new agreement with Greenport schools allows Oysterponds sixth-graders to also take advantage of secondary school courses.

All 13 Oysterponds sixth-graders will take a home economics course in the morning at Greenport starting in January, he said. Those students will travel to Greenport on buses already available to high school students. The district is expected to provide separate return transportation so its sixth-graders can finish the school day at Oysterponds, Mr. Malone said.

In addition, Mr. Malone said the district’s sixth-graders will now learn health education this year at Oysterponds. Learning health education now will give those students additional time to take higher level courses at Greenport, he said.

“Greenport has plans to beef up its seventh and eighth programs,” Mr. Malone said. “The more we can do to make students more successful in high school, the better prepared they’ll be for college.”

Mr. Malone, who was hired as new superintendent in July after Joan Frisicano resigned, said new plans for Oysterponds sixth-graders started after the first day of school because the issue was first brought to his attention Sept. 20.

Since that time, Mr. Malone said he’s been working to create his sixth-grade program recommendation.

Oysterponds school board president Dorothy-Dean Thomas said she supports the plan because she believes it will benefit Oysterponds students.

“We’ve been trying to work out a way that the Oysterponds sixth-graders can take advantage of [Greenport’s secondary program],” she said. “I’m very pleased both superintendents were able to come to an agreement.”

Mr. Comanda wasn’t immediately available for comment.

Additional details about the new sixth grade program will be announced tonight during a special meeting set for 7 p.m. at the Oysterponds elementary school in Orient.

To read more of this story, pick up a copy of The Suffolk Times on newsstands Thursday or click on the E-Paper.

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