When did jr. high become middle school...

…in your area. And does anyone know why? Was it a good idea?

Are there still junior highs anywhere in the US?

My family moved around in the early '90s when I was going through those grades, and in some places it was middle school, in others it was junior high. I had the distinct impression even then that “jr. high” was on the way out, and everything I’ve heard and seen since has confirmed it. I can’t remember the last time I heard reference to a “jr. high.”

Wanna say 86/87. Could be wrong.

1986 here. Jr. High used to be grades 7-9 and high school 10-12. Now it’s middle 6-8 and high school 9-12. My class was the last one to attend Elementary school until 6th grade rather than 6th grade being middle school.

As to why? Puberty? In other words, take all the kids in that obnoxious 12-14 age range and confine them to a single building.

There’s a Jr. high in my area. It’s K-6 for elementary, and then 7-8 for jr high …but it’s regional so maybe that’s why.

The Jr. High (which was connected to the High School) became a Middle School (and it’s own separate building) in 2005ish.

I think that’s the distinction, by the way. Connected to High School = Jr. High. Separate building = Middle School.

I always thought the 7-9 and 10-12 grade division was a good idea (previously it was K-8, 9-12). The difference between grades is significant at those ages, and to group them to minimize the differences seems to be a favorable step towards socialization.

So what was it about this scheme that made everyone revert?

In my school in Ohio, I was in the last class that had a Junior High, grades seven through nine. After that, they went six through eight at the middle school, and nine through twelve at the high school.

My mother, who was on the school board, told me that arrangment was a better grouping based on maturity levels. In other words, sixth-, seventh-, and eight- graders are still kids. Ninth-graders and up are adolescents.

I was was in ninth grade in 1979.

It’s not really of question of “when” since both are in use in neighboring school districts today. Usually middle school is 6-8 and junior high is 7-9, but YMMV.

My school was called a middle school in 78-81. I always though Jr High was 7-8-9, (or just 7-8) whereas middle school was 6-7-8.

I went to a Junior High (7-8-9) not connected to a high school. Most people I know did in the 1970s to 1980s. My kids go to a middle school (6-7-8) that was a Junior High when I was in Junior High - not connected to a high school.

We have one elementary school in our district that is 1-8 and then they go to high school (9-12). But most of our district is 1-5, 6-8, and 9-12. Not all districts switched, but the ones that did so did so in the late 80s to 90s. The problem was that their was a mini baby boom and the elementary schools became overpopulated - so the sixth graders were shifted to the middle schools, the 9th graders shifted to the high schools. Eventually the high school class sizes got bigger, but that’s seen as less of a problem in high schools than in elementary schools.

(Births hit a low in 1975 - and less than ten years later in the mid-1980s we were closing elementary schools like crazy. But in 1987, 1988, and 1989 there was a boomlet - almost to baby boom levels, and we had to find a place for those kids by the mid to late 90s in our schools. Schools are expensive to build, and its cheaper to shift kids around)

In 1988. That’s when they built a new high school and the former jr-sr high became the middle school.

My hometown’s school district had “junior high” (7th-8th grade) until ~1985, then went to a system with “middle school” (6th-7th grade) before “junior high” (8th-9th). I’m not sure what they’re doing now. Three-year middle school (6th-8th grade), maybe. I’ve also seen “middle school” used for 5th-8th grade somewhere, at a private school maybe.

In my area, during the time I was in school, it started out that one school had grades 1-7 and the high school had 8-12. Then, with forced bussing, they changed it up a lot and there were three elementary schools. One school had grades 1-3, one had 4 and 5, one had 6 and 7, junior high was 8 and 9, and hight school 10-12.

But I have no idea when the junior high was taken out, and the newer schools built.

When I was in school, it was “public school” (k-6), “senior public” (7-8), and “high school” (9-13). The public schools were smaller and located in the neighbourhoods. There was one senior public school that served the whole town. There were two high schools.

Things are different now. The senior public school was something of an experiment, I believe, and no longer exists as such; it’s now a regular k-8 public school, I think, even though there’s another public school two blocks away. (That school was always a public school.) The town has grown, and there are now four high schools. And Grade 13, an optional university-prep year, was eliminated and it’s content spread into earlier years, possibly as optional courses.

But as far as I know, the big transition between 8 and 9 has always remained.

I grew up in Michigan. I think our schools changed to middle schools in the late '60s. I went to a Catholic, K-8 elementary school. We had a bunch of classmates who left to go to the public middle school in 1970. They had just built a second school. I think the old one was a junior high until 1968 or so when they opened the new middle school and added onto the high school.

In the meantime, the older middle school has become a community center, the new one serves only 7th & 8th graders and the elementary schools are split to teach K-4 and 5-6.

Back home, it was the end of the 1977-78 school year. They built a new middle school behind the junior high during my 8th grade year. In 78-79, they started the new year in the middle school, now 6-8th grade, and demolished the old junior high building.

Here, my kids go to a junior high school, but they do it a little differently. We have several different schools here, and most of them are only for two grades. There is one junior high for 7th and 8th grades, a separate junior high for 9th grade (big transition year) and then high school for 10th-12th grades. We also have elementary schools broken down like this: K-1st, 2nd-3rd, 4th-5th, and 6th grade is at their own school. It works out very well.

Well over four decades ago, I went to a junior high. I just recently was told it’s now a middle school, but I don’t know when the switch was made. In my area of West Texas, elementary school was grades 1-6, junior high (now middle school) was grades 7-9 and high school grades 10-12.

I’m anti both middle schools and jr highs - at least in a general level. With the caveat that there are some kids who do better in a large school that may offer more variety in social and academic and athletic ways.

I don’t think that grouping a large number of kids of that age is a good idea. My kids had a choice of joining almost 400 others as 6th graders, in a 1100 student jr high, or continuing in their k-8 where each grade has about 60 kids in a school where the staff has known most since kindergarden. The school counselor states that proportionally, while sex, drugs & violence do exist, it’s much less prevalent than in the jr high. He talks about the sense of responsibility and affection to the smaller kids that even the more difficult students feel.

When I was in 7th grade in '75 the Salt Lake school district went from having jr. high being 7-9 and changed to 7-8 and high school 9-12. Elementary school remained K-6.

They did it because there were four high schools, and enrollment was dropping so otherwise they would need to close one of the schools. Had it make sense to close one of the other high schools, they may have done it, but for student travel, etc., the only logical choice was the high school where all the rich kids went, so they killed off a couple of junior highs instead.