Northport Middle School Plan Revised to Keep 6th-Graders Together

The Northport school district will revise its plan, just announced Saturday, that will keep Northport Middle School sixth-graders together when they are moved to a new building.

The middle school is undergoing environmental tests because of long-standing complaints about health problems that parents and others blame on the building. Two weeks ago, the tests revealed high levels of mercury at a leaching pool; on Friday, the tests found benzene in septic systems.

That prompted the district to close the school for the rest of the year and move grades to different schools, with all eighth-graders going to the high school, seventh graders to East Northport Middle School, while splitting the sixth graders between Norwood Avenue and Bellerose Avenue schools.

However, even as parents applauded the decision to close the middle school, some began objecting to splitting the sixth-graders. On Monday, Superintendent Robert Banzer announced that administrators had figured out a way to shift all the middle school sixth-graders to Norwood.

“I am aware that this entire situation is stressful,” Banzer wrote. “I hope that the knowledge that the entire sixth grade will be together in one building will ease some of your concerns.”

Students are getting two extra days off this week as the district scrambles to address transportation, space, food service and other needs.

The students are scheduled to start in their new schools on Thursday.

Norwood previously hosted kindergartners and first graders from Ocean Avenue Elementary School when repairs to that building were not completed in time for the opening of the 2019-2020 school year.

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