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Schenectady School District mulls switch to K-8

Benefits seen over elementary schools

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Giving every Schenectady student a chance to attend a K-8 school would require vast renovations of the district’s small and overcrowded buildings. But school board members have directed the long-range planning committee to figure out what it would take to accomplish the task, citing a wealth of new studies that support the K-8 model. After a full-day meeting on a Saturday last month, the school board agreed to fully investigate the idea. “K-8 is what ...

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November 12, 2012
7:44 a.m.

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The story said, "The eighth-grade students behaved better than the teenagers at the district’s middle schools, and mentored younger students, who also behaved better. School officials speculated that the teenagers were trying to behave better in front of younger children, who looked up to them."

The above does not sound very scientific. Does not sound like it came from a research report. Sounds like a lot of BS. Not sure how old the 5th and 6th graders are but if you read the 1st sentence it sounds like the 8th graders are 20 years old and they are helping out the teenage 5th graders.

Putting the Junior High kids with the 1st thru 5th graders is not a good idea unless you want those kids to learn things they should not. Period. My guess is there is another motivation for the district to be going this route but they are making it sound like it is because 8th graders suddenly know how to behave when they walk by a 5th grader. LOL.

November 12, 2012
9:39 a.m.

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A sense of community, belonging and love is essential for a successful educational environment, and keeping kids in one location fosters that sense of community. I absolutely support the district taking this course.

November 12, 2012
10:52 a.m.

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Brimy: Yes, you're right. The quote about Central Park students was not scientific, it was anecdotal. I don't think Ms. Moore intended it to be interpreted as such. Perhaps her writing style clouded her intended meaning in that passage, I don't know. But I DO know that children learn all kinds of inappropriate things no matter WHAT school configuration they attend, no matter if it's public or private. Children learn wherever they are, and as parents we are responsible to help them discern between what is productive information and what is trash.
My child entered kindergarten the first year Central Park was a K-8... believe me, I was nervous. The principal and the lower-grade teachers developed a "book buddies" program that provided a year-long structured and supervised interaction between the mid-level students and the very young ones. This instituted the idea that as a child grows older, they ARE role models for the younger students. The 7th and 8th grade students were extremely conscious of the kindergarteners and 1st graders - at first they didn't want "little kids" around, but after school started I can't tell you how many times I heard these young teens cooing over how cute the little ones were!
It was a significant change, and while no single system can accommodate everyone, from my perspective this model can and does work for many. At least, it works as long as it is adequately staffed, which is another topic of discussion altogether.