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How is Holy Angels Academy preparing students for the changing world? It is educating them earlier as the demand for better, smarter students increases. But there seems to be a difference in opinion on the new middle school at Holy Angels between the administration and the top dogs of the academy the seniors.

This school year Holy Angels expanded by creating a middle school known as Holy Angels Prep. It consists of a total of 18 students in sixth, seventh and eighth grades. The Prep students are able to obtain up to five high school credits before they reach high school. The middle school is extremely selective, according to Prep Principal Jeanne Whittington. The goal is to have 20 students per grade, she added.

"It's so exciting to watch the kids learning," said Whittington.

Though HAA Prep has an integrated style of learning, it still follows a core curriculum aimed to help prepare the students for high school and beyond.

Sharon Stoll, a technology teacher, said that the Prep students are like rays of sunshine whenever she has them in class.

"I can't believe their level of maturity for their age," Stoll said.

While the schools' administration believes that Holy Angels Prep is a good idea, what do the students, especially the seniors, at Holy Angels Academy think?

"It was a good idea, but it wasn't executed well," said senior Lisa Lobaugh, who is also the vice president of Student Council. The plan was "a little rushed," she added.

Although there is limited interaction with the Prep students, the Academy students are with the Prep students at lunch, music class, art class and gym class.

Senior Molly Gallagher said, "It's nice that [the administrators] are doing things, but we need more space."

"My only concern, for their sake, is not if they will be ready academically, but are they going to be emotionally, mentally and socially developed?" said senior Kassy Stout.

To help the students adjust to the new school, the Prep school is planning clinics for some sports that the girls may be interested in and hope to roster teams for basketball and softball.

The seniors also held a dance for the new middle schoolers last month, and are planning another one for Oct. 30.

Rachel Ziarnowski is a senior at Holy Angels Academy.