Laura McClendon spent the first hour teaching the sixth-graders in her science class Tuesday about their new school, Washington Technology Magnet School in St. Paul’s North End neighborhood.

The 2013-14 school year is the first in which St. Paul sixth-graders are moving out of elementary schools and into secondary schools like Washington or three-year middle schools.

District officials think the move to keep students in one location for a longer time will strengthen the bonds that they and their parents have with a school and its teachers.