The school board is speeding forward with a plan to force 6th graders out of elementary schools at a cost of $50 million, with no published expectations for improving student achievement. There is also no plan for adding capacity to Manning, Creighton, Ken Caryl or Summit Ridge. Choice will be limited without adding more seats in these schools.
There are already over ten thousand empty seats in Jeffco schools with enrollment declining and yet the plan to move 6th graders requires adding about 2500 additional classroom seats. The estimated cost to build these new classrooms is $50 million. If this plan is implemented there will be nearly 25 elementary schools with enrollment under 300 students. With this board, those schools are subject to closure. The elementary schools are: Allendale, Belmar, Campbell, Colorow, Dutch Creek, Foothills, Fremont, Glennon Heights, Green Gables, Kullerstrand, Marshdale, Parmalee, Peck, Pennington, Red Rocks, Slater, Stober, Stott, Vivian, Welchester, and Wilmore Davis.
The current school board has also made no plans to add supports to middle schools for students with Autism who right now have robust support in their center programs in elementary schools. Gifted students will find themselves the only 6th graders in some middle schools with the current plan. That’s right….in some middle schools with over 600 students, there will be less than 60 6th grade GT students. Worse yet, there will be far less supports for our most impacted students in elementary schools (with a high percent of students from families living in poverty).
And there have been no conversations about the effects on charter school when forcing 6th graders out of elementary schools. Will those students leave their K-6 charter schools a year early to attend a district-run 6 – 8 middle school?
Studies show 6th graders perform better in elementary schools
6th Graders should be in Elementary schools
Bottom Line is Moving 6th grade to middle school is bad for students.
- Moving 6th grade to middle schools reduces the amount of time students spend in reading and writing classes
- 6th graders in middle schools have more discipline problems than those in elementary schools
- If 6th graders are forced to move to middle school, those students that are most at risk will lose Title I as only one middle school involved is a Title I middle school