Mystic Middle School program to end

Stonington - The popular sixth- and seventh-grade program at Mystic Middle school known as CRICKETS will end next week after surviving a move to disband it earlier this year.

Superintendent Van Riley announced at Thursday's Board of Education meeting that the two teachers in charge of the program, Natalee Denard and Aimee Scott, have asked to transfer to other teaching positions he said were important to the district.

He said it would be too difficult to hire two new teachers and have them incorporate the new core curriculum requirements into the project-based curriculum of CRICKETS. In addition, he said some of the sixth-graders in the program had asked to opt out of it for 2013-14.

He said the current sixth-graders will have Denard as their teacher for homeroom, math and one other course and will be in the same science and social studies classes together.

A large group of past and present CRICKETS students and parents urged the school board at a meeting this winter not to eliminate the district's three multiage looping programs. At that time, the two fifth- and sixth-grade programs at Mystic and Pawcatuck middle schools were eliminated because of the difficulty of incorporating the new core curriculum requirements, but CRICKETS survived.

- Joe Wojtas

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