20170816-bc-cato-2

Cato Middle School is flooded with students.

The Bakersfield City School District is looking to add another grade level to one of its schools starting next school year.

The district said that with enrollment at Cato Middle School increasing at a significant rate, it is looking to add a sixth grade level at Horace Mann Elementary, one of Cato’s feeder schools, for the 2019-20 school year to reduce crowding.

According to the district, enrollment at Cato Middle has reached 1,000 students after opening in 2014. With 180 or more students expected to attend the school in the next five years, the district is looking to lighten the load.

The district said it chose Mann Elementary for the change because it has been seeing reduced enrollment over the last few years, declining from 883 in the 2015-16 school year to 780 this year. If the change is approved, the 129 students currently in fifth grade will remain at the campus next year.

The district’s board of trustees will consider approving the change during its Nov. 13 meeting. The open session of the meeting starts at 6 p.m. at 1300 Baker St.

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