Moss Point School District prepares to launch 9th grade academy

MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) - Transitioning from middle to high school can be nerve wracking and frightening. The Moss Point School district plans to start a 9th grade academy next semester to help make the transition easier.

Next school year, Lashea Cirlot and Deadrick Bogard will be teaching a classroom full of 9th graders.

"A 9th grade academy, as a teacher, is another tool for us to implement and move these kids into being college ready and career ready," Cirlot said.

The teachers are already working on how to make their class time count.

"We are going to have a student friendly environment. The students are really going to guide the classroom under my direction," Bogard said.

The academy will be located at Moss Point High, but the students will have their own wing to make sure their needs are met.

"Because we do have those students who are high achievers, we can offer those courses and opportunities that will advance them and promote their growth. It also gives us a chance to provide support to those on the lower end," Moss Point Schools Superintendent Dr. Maggie Griffin said.

Moss Point High School Principal Jeff Mumford said the district is still working on scheduling, but the curriculum is pretty much set.

"It will still be math, science, history. They will have some foreign language and ROTC, band, choir," said Mumford.

School officials believe it's pivotal to focus on freshmen now to make sure the high school experience is easier and eliminate the thought of dropping out.

"If we become more familiar with them, not only academically, but their social and emotional aspects, we feel that we can better see them matriculating throughout the high school process," Mumford said.

This 9th grade academy will not cost taxpayers any extra money. According to school officials, they're using the resources and teachers they have in order to make the academy successful.

The district is expecting to serve 150 9th graders the first semester. 

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