"As long as he is happy and comfortable that's all that matters," said Mindie Devers.
Ottawa River elementary Principal Trent Leedy, says having students for 9 years is extremely beneficial for both students and teachers. Leedy says it gives the students a chance to bond in a "family like" atmosphere and teachers have the opportunity to watch the students grow up which encourages core learning.
TPS spent the summer retrofitting classrooms to accommodate for students of all ages. District leaders are making sure every student is comfortable with the new plan by providing sectioned off areas for younger students and separate wings for the junior high aged students. At Ottawa River, the principal says he's seen behavior issues diminish at the junior high level.
"The older kids take care of the younger kids and you don't have the normal 7th and 8th grade rough housing. There is comradery and they [older students] automatically want to be role models," said Leedy.
Kindergarten assessments continue this week. The first day for kindergarten is Friday, September 2nd.