Starting next year, students from Leo G. Pauly Elementary School will stay on campus for the first year of middle school, district officials decided Tuesday.

Students at Pauly have historically been promoted to middle school at the end of their fifth grade, but in 2018-2019 the school will transition to a K-6 campus.

The decision comes in response to overcrowding at Sequoia Middle School, which Pauly feeds into.

Enrollment at Sequoia has increased by more than 100 students during the past four years, swelling the student body to more than 1,100. It’s projected to increase by another 60 students over the next two years.

Meanwhile, enrollment at Pauly has declined by 30 students this year and is projected to continue decreasing over the next few years, according to a district staff report.

The decision impacts roughly 122 students this year who will remain at Pauly for sixth grade.

COTTONWOOD SCHOOL PLANS FINALIZED

Bakersfield City School District officials are one step closer to making a STEAM academy in the Cottonwood area a reality after voting Tuesday to send architectural plans to the state for approval.

The school, which will be located at Cottonwood Road and East Belle Terrace Avenue, will accommodate about 900 TK-6 students and include STEAM labs that put an emphasis on science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics. It sits on a 24-acre site.

District officials submitted plans to the California Department of Education this week as a condition of final plan approval and to receive matching state funding for construction.

The rest of the money used to construct the school — roughly $25.5 million — comes from a state match promised to the district more than five years ago for the construction of Douglas K. Fletcher Elementary School and Paul Cato Middle School. The state ran out of money at the time and the district fronted the cash from its reserves.

The state now has that money following the 2016 passage of Proposition 51, a $9 billion state construction bond.

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