DERBY CENTER - The face of education is changing, Superintendent Dr. Robert Kern told members of the North Country Union Junior High School Board recently, as they discussed the possibility of a middle school on the west side of the supervisory district. “The issue of equitable education is being addressed and may at some point be mandated,” he said. “If a middle school is built on the west side, we are considering including grades six through eight; that will free space at the elementary schools for pre-kindergarten programs, which the state may someday mandate.”Dr. Kern said the advantage of a middle school or junior high school is more course offerings because the schools have greater access to resources, including hands-on labs. With the exception of the Town of Troy, 7th and 8th grade students on the west side of Orleans County do not attend the junior high school in Derby and don't have access to vocational and other course offerings.For more of this story, see Thursday's edition of the Newport Daily Express for Feb. 28, 2013.