CHEROKEE — During the Southeast School District’s Board Education meeting on Monday Southeast Junior High Building Principal Nick Hansen spoke to the board concerning a possible name change, from Southeast Junior High to Southeast Middle School.  

The board will consider the name change at its February meeting to allow time for public input. 

After speaking with his school site council made up of teachers, parents and business leaders, Hansen said it was decided that “middle school” would better portray how the school is currently structured.

Junior high configurations are typically grades 7 and 8 or grades 7 through 9, Hansen said, and sometimes are considered mini high schools. Middle schools’ grade configurations are typically grades 6 through 8, and some schools also include fifth grade. 

The difference between middle and junior high is mostly in relation to how students transition between classes. Additionally, middle schools focus more on the “whole child” — socially, physically and academically — Hansen said, whereas junior high focuses on high school preparation. 

To focus on the whole child, Hansen said the students for the most part stay with the same group of students throughout the day, with the exception of electives. This “team” of students also belongs to a smaller group of teachers, helping the teachers know the students better, he said. 

“If a student has an issue that needs to be discussed it is easy to have those four teachers to have the conversation with students,” he said.

Hansen said any questions or input can be sent to nhansen@usd247.com or by calling the school at 620-457-8315.