A Frank Discussion on K-8 Schools

I’ve been having a frank and open discussion over the past few days with a parent who has a different take on K-8 schools versus elementary and middle feeder schools. And to be honest, she’s brought up some very good points that are worth discussing here in an open forum. So I’ll turn this over to you…what are your thoughts on the county going over to K-8 schools? There are a lot of pros and cons. Up until now, I’ve been an advocate of a stronger middle school curriculum. I still am. Let’s hear from you…

[NOTE: blog entries prior to the above date can be accessed here]

E.C.

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2 Responses

  1. The whole K8 model addresses middle school students. It seems the trend to K8 is because middle school students don’t seem to be ready to take on responsibility for their academic achievement and behavior in middle school. I do not know what the magic age is for children to be held responsible for their academic achievement and behavior is. Some kids get to college and are still not ready for these responsibilities, end up on probation and sometimes kicked out of college. I am not sure that totally protecting our children in a K8 is the right answer. How are children that are placed in smaller groups via K8, which comes with more supervision and less responsibility going to handle high school. I would guess that when the middle school model was originally done it was because our 8th graders where not prepared for high school responsibility and the cycle goes on! I have also been reading that it is not the separation of 6th-8th that is the problem that at one time the middle schools were working but then we got on a new ideology that we must protect our very fragile emotional teenies, so we over nurtured them. This ideology is what has gotten the middle schools in trouble and we need to rethink our teaching mythology. Well folks I don’t know the answer. I do know a lot of K8 schools that are successful have small class sizes and smaller student/faculty ratios. I believe these two factors are crucial to successful schools. A luxury Guilford County schools can not afford to provide. The philosophy and make up of a K8 seems to be a smaller school, providing a stable nurturing environment for 11-13 year olds going through their most difficult developmental period with teachers adequately trained to support middle level programs and resources to support middle level programs. The fully implemented K8 means fully implementing the middle school concepts and not just adding grade levels. I do not know whether or not K8 is the answer to all the middle school issues or if we are only delaying making our children take responsibility for their academic achievement and behavior. Will our K8 graduates struggle with High School responsibilities, time will tell? If a child is a discipline problem at a middle school, I will venture to say the child will be a discipline problem at a K8. If the academic and decline methodologies/polices don’t change, it is my opinion we will see minimal improvement from our current middle school model.

  2. […] I’ve been saying all along that the whole middle school concept needs a serious fix. As you know, GCS is slowly moving towards exclusively K-8 schools and if it is done right and well-supported, I endorse this concept. Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools is moving toward this concept as well. It is something to watch with great interest. See past K-8 blog coverage here. […]

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