FORT WORTH -- An advisory committee has recommended that the district move forward with its original plans to convert the Dunbar 6th Grade Center to an all-boys academy next school year.
But some from the school still object to the plan, saying it will not benefit the students most at risk of dropping out.
Last year, Fort Worth school district officials faced backlash from the Stop Six community when they planned to convert the campus to an all-boys academy without consulting neighborhood residents.
Then-Superintendent Melody Johnson apologized to the community, and an advisory committee of district staff and area residents was created to study the matter.
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Robert Ray, chief of schools, said the committee agreed that the Dunbar campus is still the best location for the Young Men's Leadership Academy because the 6th Grade Center is about 300 students under capacity and the nearby Dunbar Middle School is about 400 students under capacity.
"We were very conscientious that we got community involvement," Ray said.
But Dunbar 6th teacher Carol Wilt said she is concerned that converting the school will have unintended consequences.
Boys most at risk of dropping out will probably not have the grades to meet enrollment requirements for the academy, she said. The district's Young Women's Leadership Academy requires students to have a grade average of at least 75 to apply.
"Boys that don't have grades to qualify will be lost in overcrowding at Dunbar Middle School," Wilt said.
Officials said the only enrollment requirements for the school are that a student is entering either the sixth or seventh grade, the two grades that will be offered next year.
The school will add a grade each year after through the 12th grade.