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Integration of Middle School into a K-6 School

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Essay title: Integration of Middle School into a K-6 School

Proposal for the Integration of

Junior High (7th & 8th Grades) into a K-6 Elementary School

A small town school 20 minutes West of Flagstaff, AZ

Table of Contents

Illustrations 3

Purpose 4

Situational Overview 5

Potential issues 6

Social Diversity 6

Ethnic Diversity 7

Key Benefits 7

Personalized Attention and Performance 7

Peer-tutoring Leadership Skills 8

Less Transitions 8

Improved Extra-curricular Opportunities 9

Implementation 10

Conclusion 11

Appendix A 12

Appendix B 13

Appendix C 14

Works Cited 15

Illustrations

Proposed Grade Progression………………………………………………………… 10

Purpose

Most of today’s parents are products of an educational system that sent them through an elementary school, bussed to a separate transitional junior high school, and then funneled into a large high school. Yet, is this model the best for our children today? Would students perform better overall if they were to continue their middle school education at a single school before making the transition to high school? I experienced the classical approach as a child, and now as a parent of a 6th grader in Parks, AZ, I am intrigued with the possibilities of a reformed educational structure. Members of the community are organizing to evaluate the need for change.

In the interest of determining how Maine Consolidated School District (MCSD) can better serve its students, a committee of parents, students, teachers and faculty has assembled to investigate the feasibility of 7th and 8th grade students attending MCSD for their middle school education. The committee believes there are many immediate and potential benefits by having students continue their education here in Parks until they transition to high school. Additionally, the students will be better prepared and in many respects with more opportunities for involvement in the school, community and extra-curricular activities. The following facts indicate the need for the school board to consider grade expansion at MCSD.

Situational Overview

Maine Consolidated School District is a public school in the rural community of Parks, AZ and currently serves 96 enrolled students in grades kindergarten through 6th (K-6). Students who graduate from 6th grade into junior high must either ride the bus 30 minutes to Flagstaff Middle School (Flagstaff M.S.) or parents can provide student transportation to any school of their choosing in the state. However, one choice parents do not have is whether to allow their children a 7th and 8th grade education in their own town.

The MCSD school does an excellent job of educating our students and preparing them for middle school. The students’ Arizona's Instrument to Measure Standards’ (AIMS) scores has earned the school its designation as "Highly Performing" by the Arizona Department of Education in 2004-2005 (Greatschools 2006). This year all of our previous 6th graders successfully entered the math and science intensive National Aeronautical Space Administration (NASA) program at Flagstaff Middle School. Our students have proven themselves very successful in this competitive program. The success of MCSD’s performance has even attracted students from more populous cities. MCSD can even better prepare them for challenging high school programs by continuing our students’ education here in Parks for an additional two years.

The teachers at MCSD are teaching our students the state mandated requirements, and expanding upon those standards whenever time is available and the abilities of the students demand it. Our students will continue to receive this high level of education if we are able to keep them at MCSD for two more years. Curriculum options are being considered by the current administration and staff. Flagstaff Unified School District expectations of

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