New Middle School Configuration

  • The Washoe County School District is expanding and building new schools to open for the 2019-2020 school year and are continuing with a new middle school configuration that houses 6th – 8th grade students. Ultimately, WCSD will move all of our middle schools to the 6 – 8 grade configuration model. This model follows the direction of WCSD Education Specifications for middle schools. Families of 6th grade students who are rolling up to a middle school next year have been notified by a letter from their elementary school principal. This website provides more information and details about this new opportunity for our students and staff.

    Why is Washoe County School District moving to a 6th – 8th grade model?

    Nationally, 67% of public middle schools house 6 – 8 grade students (McEwin and Greene 2011). This model allows students to be in middle school for three years and provides for stronger connection and engagement in school versus the two year “in/out” transition. Student’s academic achievement and Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) are better supported with this model as well as opportunities for career exploration and a variety of pathways for students to discover their potential.

    The 6 – 8 grade configuration model was implemented in WCSD when Kendyl Depoali Middle School opened in 2009. Education Specifications using this model were approved by WCSD Board of Trustees and the design was implemented in building the school. The middle school Education Specifications were updated and approved by WCSD Board of Trustees for the design and building of our new middle schools: Desert Skies and Sky Ranch using the 6 – 8 grade configuration model. In addition, this model that changes elementary school to a kindergarten – 5th grade configuration model and helps to alleviate overcrowding for our young learners. With the building of a new middle school in the Arrowcreek area, WCSD will continue our efforts to move more middle schools to the 6 – 8 grade configuration model.

    Which schools will have 6th grade students for the 2019-2020 school year?

    For the 2019-2020 school year, the following middle schools will be operating with the 6 – 8 grade configuration. Please note that some of these middle schools have been utilizing the 6 – 8 grade configuration model already and some are moving to this configuration model:


    Billinghurst, Clayton, Depoali, Desert Skies, Dilworth, Incline, Mendive, Shaw, Sky Ranch, Sparks, and Traner.


    Additionally, we anticipate having the following middle schools utilizing the 6 – 8 grade configuration model in the 2020-2021 school year:

    Pine, Vaughn, and the new middle school in Arrowcreek area.


    We have several middle schools that currently have unique factors that include some sixth-grade students and are working on the timeline for these schools to utilize the 6 – 8 grade configuration model for all students in their community:

    Cold Springs, O’Brien, and Swope.

    Which school is my student zoned to attend?

    Click here to see the school your student is zoned for.