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Riverpoint Academy adds two grades

Mead’s Riverpoint Academy will open its doors to ninth- and 10th-graders starting this fall after the board of directors approved expanding the school at a meeting on Jan. 25.

Parents and students expressed interest in adding grades, said Ken Russell, assistant superintendent for learning services.

“We believe there are students in our district who need the program we offer,” Russell said.

Although the school will add two grades, Principal Moleena Harris said each grade will be capped at 50 students. She said the school won’t hire additional teachers unless they’re needed because of demand.

Harris said that when the school opened four years ago the plan was always to add grades.

“I do think it will impact the student dynamics,” she said. “We also want to build the capacity of our upper classroom to mentor our junior class.”

But the overall feel and the intimacy of the school will remain, Russell said.

“It’s always meant to be small,” he said. “One of the strengths of the program is it’s smaller.”

The district is now accepting applications.

Riverpoint Academy is a choice school focused on science, technology, engineering and math. It was originally located on the Riverpoint Campus, near downtown Spokane. However, it’s now located in north Spokane, off the Newport Highway.

The school accepts students from any local school district, although students in the Mead district get priority.

“We have learned a lot along the way,” Harris said. “We are eager and excited to welcome freshmen and sophomores.”