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      Escanaba Middle School changes its name

      There are a lot of changes in Escanaba this school year. They include a name change to what used to be the Escanaba Middle School. The new name of it is now Escanaba Upper Elementary. That's because there was a school grade reconfiguration.

      What's now the Upper Elementary used to house grades five, six, and seven. Now it houses grades four, five, and six. Seventh grade was moved to the Escanaba High School building. How do students at the Upper Elementary feel about the change at their school?

      â??It's kind of weird because you're not used to that many kids walking in the hallways," explains fifth grader Macy Leisenring.

      Principal Steve Martin says there are a lot of the same teachers. But others have new students and grades.

      â??I'm excited to experience fifth grade as a teacher,â?? says Colleen Martin. â??It's one grade that I haven't taught yet. Itâ??s fun because we get to do more family things with just our class and get to know them a little bit better."

      The big difference you'll see is in the classrooms. They're more elementary and not so much a junior high environment.

      The decision to reconfigure was made in the 2009-2010 school year. It was a three year process to reconfigure. However, officials say it wasn't really that big of a cost to the Upper Elementary. The district is hoping to save money by better using current resources.

      However, there are new additions as well.

      â??Some of the new exciting things that we're doing this year are based around positive behavioral support,â?? says Principal Martin. â??We're going to have monthly assemblies that announce student of the month."

      Officials say the reconfiguration helps students feel like they're growing up and moving forward in their education.