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Some Tucson elementary schools to offer 6th grade beginning fall 2024

The Tucson Unified School District will shift some of its elementary schools to include sixth grade next year.

Regional Assistant Superintendent Richard Sanchez said it gives parents a choice.

“If you’re a parent who still wants your child to go off to the middle school environment, you will be allowed to do that or you will have the option to keep your child at the select school for an additional year," he said.

Ten of Tucson's elementary schools will offer K-6 starting in the fall of 2024. Those are the schools that have the physical capacity to hold more students.

Sanchez said some families expressed interest in keeping their students in the smaller, close-knit school communities that they’re already familiar with. 

“The parents and students have built great relationships with the staff and really feel compelled to maybe stay there another year versus transitioning to a middle school that tends to be larger in enrollment,” Sanchez said.

He said there are benefits of transitioning to a middle school too, like having the option to sign up for more electives.

New staff members will be hired to accommodate more students at the elementary level.

Senior field correspondent Bridget Dowd has a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.