According to a 2007 report, a team of researchers found
that sixth grade students attending middle schools are much more likely to be cited for discipline problems than those attending elementary school. That difference remains after adjusting for the socioeconomic and demographic characteristics of the students and their schools...A plausible explanation is that sixth graders are at an especially impressionable age; in middle school, the exposure to older peers and the relative freedom from supervision have deleterious consequences...Based on our results we suggest that there is a strong argument for separating sixth graders from older adolescents.
I’m guessing that many Lamorinda parents, as did I, attended a junior high school (7th - 9th grade); however, their children are most likely attending (or attended) a middle school (6th - 8th grade).
Parents - did you attend a junior high school or a middle school? Which grade alignment do you like better? Why?
I own rental property in Auburn, Alabama. The Auburn City School District uses a grade alignment that I find particularly interesting.
Kindergarten - The district’s kindergartners attend the same school. The school has 28 classrooms and is located on its own campus. By segregating kindergartners, the entire facility, from restrooms to playground equipment to curriculum, can be designed solely with this age group in mind.
Elementary - Multiple campuses. 1st through 5th grade.
Middle school - One campus. 6th and 7th grade.
Junior High school - One campus. 8th and 9th grade.
High school - One campus. 10th through 12th grade.
The mental, physical, and emotional changes that kids experience during the 6th - 9th grade years are tremendous. Aligning these grades into smaller groupings allows the school to create a learning environment that’s more adaptable to the rapid changes these students are undergoing.
This model is probably more costly to implement and maintain so it’s not feasible for many school districts. Thus, given our constraints, I’m interested in learning which set-up parents like better - the junior high school grade alignment (which usually treats students as mini-high-schoolers) or the middle school alignment (which is supposed to offer more attention to students than typically found in the junior high school model).