ROCKLAND, Maine — A plan to shuttle sixth-grade students between two towns next year is being met with opposition.

The announcement was made at a Thursday night meeting of the Regional School Unit 13 Board that sixth-graders would spend the mornings at what is now Rockland District Middle School and then be bussed to what will be Oceanside Middle School in Thomaston for afternoon and after-school programs.

A week earlier, the administration had notified parents of incoming sixth-graders that there would not be enough classroom space at Oceanside Middle School for sixth-graders until additions and renovations were made as part of an overall realignment of schools plan approved last year.

That plan calls for a single high school for grades nine through 12 at Oceanside East in Rockland and a single middle school for grades six through eight at the Oceanside West building in Thomaston.

William Gifford, the new Oceanside Middle School principal, said Thursday that the programs that will be offered there in the afternoon will include physical education and art, for which there is enough space for the additional students before additions are completed.

Parent Gerald Weinand of Rockland said it made no sense to bus students 20 minutes each day when a simpler solution would be to have the sixth-graders assigned to a portion of the Lura Libby School in Thomaston that is adjacent to Oceanside Middle School.

Lura Libby is an elementary school, but the board has voted to close it and assign those students to the nearby Thomaston Grammar School starting in the fall. Thomaston residents will vote June 14 on whether to approve the closure of Lura Libby.

Weinand said the district should contact Thomaston, which will become the owner of the Lura Libby School if it closed, and see whether the district can lease six rooms for one year.

Regional School Unit 13 Board Chairman Steve Roberts said he did not see how that could be done if the school district is closing the building. Roberts said instead of making this one-year plan a contentious issue, it could be viewed as an adventure for the youngsters.

Weinand said he did not see how disrupting the students’ education every day of the week could be considered an adventure.

Gifford said the reason the administration wants to bus the students to Thomaston shortly after noon each day is to allow them to become part of the overall middle school. The students would take allied art programs such as foreign languages and physical education during the afternoon. They would then be able to stay and participate in after-school programs.

Weinand said it was unreasonable to expect students will be doing school work during the 20 minutes on the bus. He also said with the construction work along Route 1 in Thomaston, the trip could be longer than planned.

Superintendent John McDonald said the realignment of schools, accompanied by proposed additions and renovations, will be a huge project with a lot of moving parts that will require adjustments along the way.

Board members said they were taken by surprise last week when they found out that sixth-graders would be housed in Rockland for the next school year. They said they had been contacted by parents with questions and concerns.

Board member Jesse Butler said the district needed to listen to the concerns.

“It’s not good enough to say toughen up,” Butler said.

“This is a bump in the road, not a boulder,” McDonald said.

The board also heard concept plans for two additions to the current Oceanside West high school building that will become Oceanside Middle School, as well as to Oceanside High School in Rockland. Voters in the district are likely to be asked in the fall to approve borrowing for the additions.