Fort la Reine School is preparing for next year's expansion of Grade 7 students, followed by Grade 8 in 2024-25.

This comes after the Portage la Prairie School Division approved the addition of two grades earlier this year.

The Principal of Fort la Reine School, Matt Harkness, believes that adding the two grades will benefit the students.

"Before this, they would go to another middle school for only two years of Grades 7 & 8. Then they would be on to the high school, which was okay, but it didn't build the connections the way it does when they stay at our school for Kindergarten through Grade 8."

Harkness explains that students staying at Fort la Reine will experience the same opportunities at any other middle school.

"There are lots of opportunities with Grade 7 and 8 that a Kindergarden to 6 school doesn't have. Mainly looking at sports and extracurricular activities," he continues. "Some of our staff are really excited that they're going to be able to coach volleyball, basketball, badminton, track and field, and those types of things that weren't options for students before."

The Principal notes that down the road, the schools hope to have a new gym built so that their old gym can be turned into classrooms.