Schools in South Florida are figuring out how to change the middle school experience.

Middle schools may soon involve career choices and job skills with more electives and less homework.

In grades six through eight, students are often least engaged. Many parents and teachers believe it is time for a makeover.

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“Kids don’t really feel the passion and excitement of being in middle school that they do when they are in high school, nor the connection they do when they are in elementary school. A lot of times they’re bored,” said David Christiansen, deputy superintendent for Palm Beach County schools. “You can’t fool parents. If they perceive their children aren’t excited about school, they’re going to consider other options.”

Some of the changes being examined include new class schedules, rotating class schedules over several days, shortening or lengthening classes and creating more K-8 schools.

Other ideas include cutting the amount of assigned homework, offering more career training, and more time for electives.

Finally a need for ongoing training of all staff, including janitors, office workers and maintenance people to be better mentors and more positive role models for students.

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