A consultant from the county Office of Education is studying the curriculum at the two middle schools in the Monrovia Unified School District to determine why sixth-graders are not scoring as well as the district's third-, eighth- and 12-graders on the California Assessment Program tests.
Sixth-grade scores are low, considering such socioeconomic factors as parents' jobs, whether students' families receive Aid to Families with Dependent Children and whether English is their second language, said Supt. Donald Montgomery.
Montgomery said the transition from elementary to middle school can be difficult for children. He said the consultant, Jeanne Guertin, will survey other districts that start middle school in the sixth grade to see if they have similar problems. Monrovia's middle schools cover the sixth through eighth grades.
Montgomery said one approach would be to start middle school in the seventh grade. But because the district's elementary schools do not have enough room to accommodate the sixth-graders, he said, such a change would require converting a middle school into an elementary school and changing school boundaries.