60 seventh and eighth graders made the transition from a K-8 school, returning to middle school with the help of an after school study club and efforts by teachers and school administrators.
12 year oild Natasha Zubritskaya worried last year about leaving Trentwood Elementary School for East Valley Middle School. “I was worried it would be much harder, and then I realized the staff here really helps. They have study clubs after school to help with homework,” she said. “I actually enjoy it more than an elementary school. You have more friends because there are more kids here.”
The district abandoned the switch to a K-8 school model that had been fully implemented during the 2013-2014 school year. They were faced with the challenge of acclimating the seventh and eighth grade students quickly, without affecting their social or academic progress.
According to Principal Doug Kaplicky, there were challenges, but he credits staff and parents for being supportive of students.
“Our No. 1 attribute is our climate,” he said. “The parents are very happy and the staff is extremely supportive; they have ownership. Keeping middle school students happy can be a challenge, and we have students who are excited to come to school.”