At a special Altus Board of Education meeting Monday evening, it was decided to move grades fifth, seventh and ninth up one building level in order to accommodate a state mandate for full-day kindergarten.
The move will combine grades Kindergarten through fourth, move fifth grade to the middle school, seventh grade to the junior high, and ninth grade to the high school.
The grade realignment was one of five options presented to school administrators and the community, and will take effect no earlier than the 05-06 school year.
Accommodations must go into effect when Oklahoma's per pupil expenditure reaches 90 percent of the regional average.
"We kicked around a lot of items," said board president Gary Winsett. "We just served the ball to ya'll."
School administrators will now work on putting together a committee in order to work out specifics for the future change in both academics and accommodations.
"I hope we stay committed as a board to step back and let you make the decision that needs to be made," said board member Phil Marcha.
Marcha thanked Superintendent Bob Drury for his guidance in process. He also thanked staff and board members for their hard work in getting the board to this point.
Drury estimates it will take six months to create proposals regarding the upcoming accommodations.
The board previously held its second public town hall meeting Monday, Dec. 8, in order to hear additional views from the community on the realignment plan.
The meeting followed the regularly scheduled board meeting and brought no decisions to the realignment. It was at this meeting when board member Tom Buchanan suggested the board schedule a date to discuss and take possible action for the restructuring. He was the board member who offered the plan for a vote at Monday's meeting.
With the exception of one voting board member, all voted in favor of the proposal.
The decision comes after three years of contemplating ideas and evaluating the local school system and its facilities.
Research information used to evaluate the schools in the decision making process remains available on the board Website at www.altusschools.k12.ok.us/.
The five proposals offered to the administration and the community were as follows:
Plan 1: Leave the sites configured the way they are at present and build classrooms at two sites to accommodate full-day kindergarten.
Plan 2: Move the ninth grade to the high school in an isolated center, seventh grade to junior high, and fifth grade to the middle school.
Plan 3: Have a District Kindergarten Center
Plan 4: Have seventh, eighth and ninth grades at the junior high with fifth and sixth grades at the middle school.
Plan 5: Build a new elementary school on the north side of Altus on school-owned land.