There are an increased number of K-8 schools, as a result of needing to fill seats in formerly crowded school buildings. Charter schools have been a siphon for some school systems, because they often welcome students from kindergarten through eighth grade.
In Palm Beach County, Florida, creating K-8 schools has been a remedy to continue to attract students who otherwise would go to charter schools.
At Hidden Oaks Elementary in Boynton Beach, Principal Sari Myers has been eager to meet the challenge. In August, Hidden Oaks welcomed its first ever sixth-graders – more than 70 in all.
The school will become the district’s first neighborhood K-8 school, adding a grade each year for the next three years. According to district administrators, other schools will follow.
“This is the model we want to go to,” said Deputy Superintendent David Christiansen.
The middle school has been the national norm for many years, but currently, over 20 of the nation’s largest urban districts are seeking an alternative with a K-8 model.