New bill would let middle school students take classes for high school credit

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CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) -- Art, science and math. These are some of the subjects that are at the core of a middle school education. The building blocks for what is around their next stop in high school.

So, what if students could get a jump on secondary school now without even leaving their desks in middle school?

"It's fairly new for all of us as we try to wrap our heads around it and what it could look like systematically for us," said Heidi Eliopoulos, the Middle School Principal in Chippewa Falls.

She says the district heard for the first time on Monday about a new bill in the legislature that would let 7th and 8th graders take special classes in middle school that would count for high school credit.

She says if such a bill were to pass, schools need to make sure kids are developmentally ready to handle a high school course - the curriculum, grading and finding that balance between schoolwork and personal time.

Something like this she says would not be for everyone.

"The benefit then if those students are ready for curriculum and challenges like that, it can down the road open a timeline for them to take more AP and college ready courses while they're still in high school," she added.

Parents and students alike say they see potential in the program but also some problems.

"I think it has to be for every individual kid, it would so much depend on where the kid is at because they have enough pressure as it is," said Sherry Jasper, a parent.

Even Will Blake, now in high school, knows he would have missed out on some middle school activities if his mind was on high school.

"I would have been a little hesitant," he said.

But Liam Oconner, who could take the classes if the bill passes, sees it as an opportunity to know more about what is next.

"Then when you get into high school you have a better idea of what's happening," he said.

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