The Youngstown City School District is reconfiguring grades and buildings in a major revamp they say will help better meet the needs of its students and families.

"Through our process of strategic planning and listening to our teachers, our community and parents, this is the way people want it to go," said Justin Jennings, CEO of Youngstown City School District. 

The reconfiguration will shift the district in several ways.

Six pre-kindergarten to fifth-grade schools

Two sixth through eighth-grade middle schools

A fifth through eighth-grade early college middle school

An alternative school

Two traditional high schools

An early college high school and a career and technical center

There will also be a virtual school for first through 12th-grade students

 

"We believe this reconfiguration will better position our scholars for success," Jennings said.

The two new middle schools will be East Middle School at the P. Ross Berry Campus and Chaney Middle School at the McGuffey Campus.

"When you look at curriculum through the lens that we were teaching it from, there's not really a sixth grade curriculum," Jennings said. "It's elementary school. So, we just wanted to make sure that we align those things as well."

East Middle School at the P. Ross Berry is on the city's East Side and for the last several years the building has been used by Mahoning County High School.

The superintendent of that school has already expressed interest in leasing the old North Elementary School building in Poland.

Chaney Middle School at the McGuffey Campus building, on the West Side, has been an elementary school.

Each middle school will feed into the high school for which it's named.

Rayen Early College Middle School, now housed inside Chaney High School, will move into its own building at 58 Williamson Ave. which is now home to Williamson Elementary School.

"We're moving RECMS closer to Youngstown Rayen Early College High School and to Youngstown State University to grow and enhance the relationship between those schools," CEO Jennings said. "RECMS will be the feeder school for YREC. By giving the middle school its own dedicated building, more scholars will be able to take advantage of this program that allows them to earn an associate's degree upon high school graduation."

RECMS, like YREC, will follow the YSU calendar. YREC is located at 20 W. Wood St.

Wilson Elementary School will become Wilson Alternative School for YCSD students who struggle in a traditional classroom environment.

Mahoning County High School also has the option to move into the Wilson building but will operate separately from Wilson Alternative School.

The district's elementary schools under the realignment are Harding, Martin Luther King and Taft, which will feed into East Middle School, and Volney Rogers, Kirkmere and Paul C. Bunn, which will feed into Chaney Middle School.

There are no changes to Choffin Career and Technical Center under the reconfiguration plan.

Boundaries determining where students attend school are being redrawn and letters will be sent this summer, informing families which schools scholars will attend.

Current ninth through 11th graders at East and Chaney high schools, however, will not be required to change schools even if they're affected by boundary changes.