BRITTON, Mich. — Students are already in classrooms together, though the official merging of the Britton-Macon and Deerfield school districts won’t come about until July 1, according to The (Adrian) Daily Telegram.

Grades six through 12 have been combined since September, The Telegram reported; middle school students attend classes in Deerfield and high school students in Britton. A preschool program has been expanded to both campuses, The Telegram reported, and teachers are working toward a common curriculum for elementary grades.

The districts have yet to negotiate a joint collective bargaining agreement with teachers; existing contracts become void at the time of the merger, The Telegram reported. Currently, Britton-Macon teachers have a higher pay scale. Teachers have named a bargaining team that will meet with school board representatives, according to the report.

The districts have had a joint athletic program since 1993, according to The Telegram. Both schools will host separate graduations for the last time this year.

“I like it because there’s more people,” freshman Taylor Cousino told The Telegram.

One advantage to educators is that they now teach multiple sections of the same course, meaning fewer lesson plans to prepare and the opportunity to focus more on each class, Superintendent Charles Pelham told The Telegram.

The (Adrian) Daily Telegram, “This summer, Britton-Deerfield school merger will be complete,” January 20, 2011

Michigan Education Digest, “Merger talks end in Arenac County,” April 22, 2009