Return to Headlines

Sixth Grade Academy Opens Application Process

January 21, 2019

We are excited to open applications for the 2019-2020 Sixth Grade Academy. The Sixth Grade Academy is an opportunity for sixth graders to access the middle school experience. The program is open to up to 120 sixth graders at both McLoughlin and Hedrick Middle Schools.

If you would like to apply for your current fifth grader, please fill out the application at this link:

2019-2020 Sixth Grade Academy Online Application

Applications are due on March 19th.

Please look at the following key dates and FAQ’s related to the academy.

If you have questions, please contact your elementary principal or the Elementary Education Department at 541-842-3627. You may also email the Administrative Assistant to Elementary Education, Michelle Moore, at

Key Dates:

January 21 - Sixth Grade Online Application opens

January 24 - McLoughlin Information Night (6:30-7:30 PM)

February 12 - Hedrick Information Night at Hoover Elementary (6:00 - 7:00 PM)

February 13 - Hedrick Information Night at Hedrick (6:00 - 7:00 PM)

March 19 - Sixth Grade Application Closes

By April 12 - Random Lottery Drawings Completed & Families Notified of Placement

April 15-26 - Incoming students/families Welcome Night(s). Specific dates to be determined.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the Sixth Grade Academy?

The Medford School District is excited to launch its second year of Sixth Grade Academy, an opportunity for sixth graders to access the middle school experience, for fall 2019. The program is open to up to 120 sixth graders at both McLoughlin and Hedrick Middle Schools.

What are the Goals of the Sixth Grade Academy?

  • Provide sixth graders with access to the middle school experience while still offering a sheltered setting for most of the day.
  • Allow sixth graders to take higher-level math on-site, band and orchestra within the school day, and explore extra-curricular activities, competitions, and clubs.
  • Provide opportunities for sixth graders to participate in more athletics: specific sports to be determined, but possibly cross country, track and wrestling.
  • Afford more space at local elementary schools to alleviate the pressure of growing enrollment in some MSD elementary schools.
  • Provide more choices to families.

Has this been done before?

A similar program, the Sixth Grade Pilot, launched successfully in 2001, and was in place until 2004. In 2015, the MSD launched a task force of staff, parents, and community members to analyze the potential benefits and drawbacks of moving sixth graders to middle school. After research and discussion, the task force recommended that sixth graders be moved, but gradually.

The district has been in discussion of building another middle school, but its long-range facilities plan calls for using all available space and resources prior to going to voters for a bond. The school district has invested in additional staffing, technology, lockers, and made room modifications at both middle schools for the Sixth Grade Academy.

What does it look like?

Students have a similar daily schedule as the rest of the middle school. While students are somewhat sheltered with a separate lunch, locker area, etc., the Academy aims to mirror more of a typical middle school experience where students have a team of teachers who provide instruction in specific subject area(s). Students participate in electives with other teachers such as band or orchestra, or PE. One of the core sixth grade teachers may teach an elective. Electives may or may not include 7th graders, depending on enrollment and staffing determined later in the spring.  

We encourage you to attend the middle school Academy information nights to learn more. Please check with each middle school for their dates and times:

Hedrick Middle School: 541-842-3700 or McLoughlin Middle School: 541-842-3720

What about transportation?

A student must be eligible for transportation (following middle school guidelines which is 1.5 miles or more from home) in the attending area. Transportation is provided at the normal middle school times and established bus stops.

Who is eligible to apply?

The Sixth Grade Academy is open to current 5th grade Medford School District residents or non-resident students attending on an approved transfer.

  1. Medford School District resident students ARE eligible to apply.
  2. Non-resident students currently enrolled with Medford on an approved transfer ARE eligible to apply. 
  3. Non-resident students currently enrolled in a Medford Charter are NOT eligible to apply.
  4. Non-resident studentsnot currently enrolled in a Medford school are NOT eligible to apply.

How do I apply for my child to attend Sixth Grade Academy?

Application to Sixth Grade Academy is an online application process. The online application requires the submitter to provide a valid email address. If you do not have an email address, please contact your child's elementary school office for instructions. The application window opens January 21st and closes on March 19th, 2019. Late applications are not accepted.

Click the following link to apply: 2019-2020 Sixth Grade Academy Online Application

How will my child be selected?

Medford School District is committed to a fair and nondiscriminatory random lottery process.

How does the Lottery Work?

  1. Each elementary school will be assigned a number spots in the Sixth Grade Academy based on projected enrollment.
  2. Each elementary school will have a separate lottery.
  3. If the number of applicants exceeds the number of spots available for that school, then we will randomly draw names to fill those spots.
  4. If one student selected has a same grade siblingin the same household, that student will also receive a spot.
  5. Each elementary school will have a separate wait list.