K-8 Schools: more articles, more data

The image “https://i2.wp.com/www.depauw.edu/photos/PhotoDB_Repository/2005/5/dickinson%20programs%20practices.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. There have been some more articles that have hit lately related to our off-and-on discussion of K-8 schools and whether they are good or bad.

Regular readers of this blog will recall the initiation of this discussion last February, after I met Linda Welborn, who heads the Southeast Educational Advancement Coalition (an arm of the Southeast Guilford Community Association), at a GCS Board meeting early in 2007.

For those who are new to this blog, I’m an advocate of a stronger middle school curriculum simply because it is the middle school where we seem to lose some of our academically and behaviorally-challenged students. But I’m also an advocate of seeing some of our schools go to a K-8 environment. You are seeing such a conversion happening in Forsyth County as we speak. It’s a bold initiative and I think it is something worth exploring.

The SGCA wrote an article last March citing an e-mail exchange I had with Ms. Welborn (click here to view it).

If our fearless leader Terry Grier goes to San Diego (by the way, no new news yet on that front), this is one of the many things he will deal with as soon as his plane touches down.
The image “https://i0.wp.com/www.voiceofsandiego.org/multimedia/testlogo.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. This article from the Voice of San Diego.org posted on New Years Eve has a profile of one of the newest K-8 schools in San Diego.

An excerpt:

Grant is one of eight San Diego Unified elementary schools converting into a K-8 school. It’s a new tack for the school district. K-8s, once standard in U.S. public schools, are now rare in cities save for private schools. In San Diego, they’re providing an alternative to the big middle schools some parents dislike — and reeling in kids who once opted for private middle schools or charters.

Advocates say K-8 schools foster tighter communities and allow schools to track students over time. Students stay connected to their teachers, and parents stay involved at the schools. But experts say reshuffling grades has little impact on student scores, and bears a significant cost. Creating K-8s is pricey, and the smaller schools strain to provide the same electives as conventional middle schools.

“The question I always ask is, why are you doing it?” said Al Summers, director of conferences and events for the National Middle School Association. “If you address their needs, it can be done effectively. But you can’t just treat them like big elementary school kids.”

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The image “https://i0.wp.com/www.henningerconsulting.com/images/pubs/nameplatehgh.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. In discussing the psychological aspect of the transition between elementary and middle school age, the High Point Enterprise ran a pretty good two-piece Sunday story December 23.

Click here for story one.

Click here for story two.

An excerpt:

Amy Milsom, assistant professor in the department of counseling and education at the University of North Carolina at Greens­boro, says the use of social networking sites like MySpace are often the most popular among middle school-age kids who look to the Internet as a way to form their identity. “Kids are a lot more technologically sav­vy than we were,” she said, adding that the backlash has been something called cyber­bullying.
“Bullying is something that has always gone on, and middle school is the most prominent time when it occurs. But with online chatrooms and the Internet … there is more potential.”

The image “https://i0.wp.com/www.gcsnc.com/schools/middle/welborn/Welborn_mid.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. Turquoia Payne, a Welborn Middle eighth­grader, avoids it altogether by simply being “cool with everyone.”
She admits that she keeps to herself, but as student body president she often shares a friendly smile or hello to those walking by.

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By the way, the book at the top of this post is titled: “Programs and Practices in K-8 Schools: Do they Meet the Educational Needs of Young Adolescents?” by Professor Thomas Dickenson of Indiana’s DePauw University. This book asks the question and attempts to answer it using comparative data throughout the book.

Click here to see a short blurb from the university.

Click here to buy the book from Amazon.com.

E.C. 🙂

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