Topaz Elementary School will be a kindergarten through sixth grade once more starting in the 2008-2009 school year.

The Hesperia Unified School District school board unanimously approved the change at Monday night's school board meeting.

Topaz's erstwhile sixth graders have attended Cypress Academy since the 2005-2006 school year, but starting next year, Cypress Academy becomes the HUSD's first "choice school," Cypress School of the Arts, and focuses on a K-6 arts-centered curriculum. Topaz's current fifth graders will be staying on their current campus.

The HUSD's two sixth-grade-only schools, Cypress and Oxford Academies, were originally created to help with overcrowding. Cypress principal Scott Sheffield told the board Monday night that the new arts school already had 80 Topaz students signed up for classes next year. HUSD officials expect the district to see no increase in enrollment next year, or even a possible overall decline in enrollment, as a result of the ongoing housing slump.

The board approved the change in a 4-0 decision. Board member Bruce Minton was absent due to illness.

The next meeting of the HUSD school board will take place on May 5 at 6 p.m. in the HUSD Administration and Educational Support Center Annex, 15576 Main Street.

Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 956-7108 or at beau@hesperiastar.com.