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Seven Elementary Schools May Become K-8

Audio

Aired 4/19/09

District officials want to add sixth, seventh and eighth grade classes to a handful of San Diego elementary schools next year. It’s part a new movement to create more K-8 schools. KPBS reporter Ana Tintocalis has more.

Under the plan, seven elementary schools would offer a kindergarten through eighth grade education. Most elementary schools stop at the fifth grade. District officials believe K to 8 prevents kids from falling through the cracks because students can stay at one school for a longer period of time. School board member Sheila Jackson likes the plan, saying the leap from elementary to middle school is tough both academically and socially.

Jackson : You have the transition from one campus to a larger campus with children from several schools. You have the children transition in their life, it's the fastest growing time frame. And then you have all these new curriculums coming at them.

Test scores show local middle school students haven't been making the grade for the past several years. Jackson says K to 8 will help because teachers can collaborate more to pinpoint problems. She also says students can stay in their neighborhood. The plan could cost the district about $9.5 million.

Ana Tintocalis, KPBS News.

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