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Salt Lake City School District K-8 Schools: Exploring A Choice for the Future Beacon Heights Dilworth Highland Park Nibley Park Whittier Indian Hills ( 1/2 Hillside, ½ Clayton) Bonneville Emerson Hawthorne Lincoln Uintah Who’s Involved? Hillside, Clayton, and Their Feeders

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SaltLake City School District

K-8 Schools:

Exploring A Choice

for the Future

Salt Lake City School District 801-578-8305 http://www.slc.k12.ut.us/schools/k8/


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Beacon Heights

Dilworth

Highland Park

Nibley Park

Whittier

Indian Hills (1/2Hillside, ½ Clayton)

Bonneville

Emerson

Hawthorne

Lincoln

Uintah

Who’s Involved?Hillside, Clayton, and Their Feeders

Salt Lake City School District 801-578-8305 http://www.slc.k12.ut.us/schools/k8/


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What is a K-8 School?

  • A school with a continuous grade span that begins with kindergarten or pre-K and ends after the 8th grade. David Hough

    Editor, Research in Middle Education

Salt Lake City School District 801-578-8305 http://www.slc.k12.ut.us/schools/k8/


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Whyis SLCSD Considering K-8?

  • Current research on K-8 schools

  • Consistent with Student Achievement Plan

  • National move toward re-thinking middle grades

  • Rebuilding Opportunity

  • SLCSD enrollment data

Salt Lake City School District 801-578-8305 http://www.slc.k12.ut.us/schools/k8/


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SLCSD Student Achievement Plan

  • Choice Initiatives: (Essential #6)

    “Families and students have a variety of school or program choices including neighborhood schools, academies, magnets, and optional programs”.

Salt Lake City School District 801-578-8305 http://www.slc.k12.ut.us/schools/k8/


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SLCSD Data

  • Over 5 years, SLCSD 7th grade enrollment is down 7-13% compared to 6th grade.

  • 7th – 8th grade enrollment drops 2-3%.

  • 9th grade enrollment makes slight gains.

  • District enrollment down ~1% yearly.

  • Choice options have been shown to attract and retain students.

Salt Lake City School District 801-578-8305 http://www.slc.k12.ut.us/schools/k8/


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Transition Year Enrollments:

Numbers of Students Enrolled in Grades 6, 7 & 9 in SLCSD

Salt Lake City School District 801-578-8305 http://www.slc.k12.ut.us/schools/k8/


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What Can a K-8 School Look Like?

Some information from a survey of K-8 and Middle Schools, 2004.


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Structure of a K-8 School Day:

  • 5th grade – most often in a self-contained classroom (similar to current settings)

  • 6th grade – mix of single classroom, uniform periods, and flexible block schedules

    *K-8 schools can offer more options for 5th and 6th graders depending on the design of the day

    ** Programs and Practices in K-8 Schools (2004)

Salt Lake City School District 801-578-8305 http://www.slc.k12.ut.us/schools/k8/


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Structure of a K-8 School Day:

  • 7th and 8th grade – 74 % in uniform periods, 21 % in flexible block schedules

    ** Programs and Practices in K-8 Schools (2004)

Salt Lake City School District 801-578-8305 http://www.slc.k12.ut.us/schools/k8/


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Facts about K-8 Schools:

  • Your school would keep your 6th graders to become the 7th grade class

  • Those same kids would become the 8th graders next year

  • Not necessarily many transfer students – just neighborhood kids

Salt Lake City School District 801-578-8305 http://www.slc.k12.ut.us/schools/k8/


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Facts about K-8 Schools:

  • 5th through 8th graders will:

    • Gradually add more teachers during the school day

    • Gradually add more class taking options in their schedules

Salt Lake City School District 801-578-8305 http://www.slc.k12.ut.us/schools/k8/


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Facts about K-8 Schools:

  • Benefits for kids and parents:

    • Long-term relationships with teachers

    • Students stay closer to home

    • Same school schedule as younger siblings

    • Familiar building

Salt Lake City School District 801-578-8305 http://www.slc.k12.ut.us/schools/k8/


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RAND Corporation(Largest Educational Think-Tank in the US):“Wonder Years” Report

Positive Findings:

  • Test scores slightly up for 13 yr. olds

  • Achievement gap closing slightly

  • Promising middle school practices available

Salt Lake City School District 801-578-8305 http://www.slc.k12.ut.us/schools/k8/


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RAND Corporation “Wonder Years” Report:

Issues of Concern:

  • Mismatch between MS practices and philosophies

  • Lack of common planning times

  • Lack of advisory periods

  • By middle school, U.S. student achievement lags behind other countries

Salt Lake City School District 801-578-8305 http://www.slc.k12.ut.us/schools/k8/


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RAND Corporation “Wonder Years” report:

Six Recommendations Made:

  • Reconsider stand-alone middle schools to reduce transitions

  • Offer interventions for lowest- performing students

  • Adopt comprehensive disciplinary models focused on prevention

Salt Lake City School District 801-578-8305 http://www.slc.k12.ut.us/schools/k8/


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RAND Corporation “Wonder Years” report:

Six Recommendations Made (cont.):

  • Make use of proven professional development models for best practices at each level

  • Offer parents information about teaching and learning goals

  • Research programs that promote positive school climate and student well-being

Salt Lake City School District 801-578-8305 http://www.slc.k12.ut.us/schools/k8/


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What Journal Articles Report:

Salt Lake City School District 801-578-8305 http://www.slc.k12.ut.us/schools/k8/


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A Visible Trend …

  • Many Large districts are implementing K-8 grade configurations, including: Cleveland, Denver, Phoenix, Philadelphia, and Milwaukee.

  • Stated Reasons:

    • Enhance Academic Performance

    • Improve Behavior

    • Increase attendance

      K-8 Bunch, District Administration 2005.

Salt Lake City School District 801-578-8305 http://www.slc.k12.ut.us/schools/k8/


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One Journal Summary:

Many school systems conducting their own research are finding students in grades 6, 7 and 8 who attend K-8 schools… are scoring higher than their counterparts in other grade-span schools as measured by standardized and state assessment exams.

D. Hough, 2005

Salt Lake City School District 801-578-8305 http://www.slc.k12.ut.us/schools/k8/


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K-8 Schools:

Potential Advantages, Concerns & Design Issues

Salt Lake City School District 801-578-8305 http://www.slc.k12.ut.us/schools/k8/


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Potential Advantages of K-8 Schools

  • Data shows that fewer transitions = better student outcomes

  • Early research indicators of higher student achievement

  • Parental involvement remains higher

  • K-8 schools can often better implement

    the true middle school philosophy

  • Students well-known over a longer period

Salt Lake City School District 801-578-8305 http://www.slc.k12.ut.us/schools/k8/


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Other Potential Advantages:

  • Facilitates teacher teaming and planning

  • Advanced options for younger students

  • Additional sports opportunities possible

  • Cross-age tutoring

  • Flexible scheduling for all students

Salt Lake City School District 801-578-8305 http://www.slc.k12.ut.us/schools/k8/


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Parent Concerns When Considering K-8 Schools

  • Social, emotional, academic differences

  • Schedule options – classes and building

  • Difference between K-5 and 6-8 philosophy

  • Middle grade students interacting with younger students

  • K-8 preparation for high school

  • Don’t get to experience advanced activities

Salt Lake City School District 801-578-8305 http://www.slc.k12.ut.us/schools/k8/


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Issues for K-8 Design Consideration:

Choices must be made in the structure of a K-8 school considering:

  • Student differences at each level

  • Organization of electives and required courses

  • Advanced options for students

  • Best practices at both elementary and middle school levels

  • Building re-fitting needs

Salt Lake City School District 801-578-8305 http://www.slc.k12.ut.us/schools/k8/


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Exploring K-8 Schools: Strategies

  • Involve all stakeholders

  • Read grade configuration literature

  • Research districts with the same structure

  • Consider best fit with community values

  • Thoughtful consideration

Salt Lake City School District 801-578-8305 http://www.slc.k12.ut.us/schools/k8/


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New K-8 Website

Website Address:

http://www.slc.k12.ut.us/schools/k8/

Visit the site to learn more about K-8 schools, find articles for your team, and keep current on meetings and dates.

Salt Lake City School District 801-578-8305 http://www.slc.k12.ut.us/schools/k8/


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Questions: Please fill out the questionnaire provided and return to team members.

Salt Lake City School District 801-578-8305 http://www.slc.k12.ut.us/schools/k8/


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