6th grade = No longer middle school!

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by YoungTeacherGuy, Dec 20, 2014.

  1. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2007
    Messages:
    4,232
    Likes Received:
    1,177

    Dec 20, 2014

    For many decades, middle school has been grades 6-8 in my school district. However, beginning August 2015, elementary will be grades K-6 and middle school will be grades 7-8.

    Middle school administrators are STOKED because they'll have far fewer students. Elementary administrators aren't too happy because we'll have about 120 extra students per site (due to our current 5th graders not leaving). Middle schools will continue to have 1 principal and 2 VPs; elementary schools will maintain status quo: 1 principal and 1 VP.

    It seems like most parents are happy that their children will be in elementary for one more year, though.

    All 6th grade teachers will be "displaced" from their middle schools and moved to elementary sites.

    This next school year should be an interesting one! :dizzy:
     
  2.  
  3. miss-m

    miss-m Devotee

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2014
    Messages:
    1,026
    Likes Received:
    444

    Dec 20, 2014

    I didn't realize that so many schools had 6th grade in the middle school until I started student teaching and subbing. The district I grew up in has 6th grade as elementary and has always had it there. I actually have yet to teach a 6th grade middle school class, so it's just a really interesting concept to me.

    It seems like it's definitely easier for parents, especially if they have younger elementary kids as well so the older ones can walk them home haha.
     
  4. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2013
    Messages:
    4,254
    Likes Received:
    793

    Dec 20, 2014

    In my district, most elementary schools are K-6, but we do have one Middle School that is 6-8. I worked with 6th graders for two years before moving to third. Honestly... I know this is absolutely not a workable solution, but the best time for kiddos to switch buildings would be at Christmas Break. Those kids change over the break. They go home in December as elementary kids, and they come back as middle schoolers.
     
  5. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2005
    Messages:
    7,630
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 20, 2014

    My elementary license is 1-6. I student taught in 6th. It wasn't considered middle school until a few years after I graduated. Secondary ED was always 7-12. I think that is still the norm in my state.
     
  6. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Messages:
    4,768
    Likes Received:
    999

    Dec 20, 2014

    When I was in San Diego I always heard that 6th grade was middle school. Then I moved to this area and in one class this came up and my students were adamant that 6th grade is elementary.

    6th grade has always been a debate whether it's elementary or middle. OP, your school should have some extra funding for the extra kids.
     
  7. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Messages:
    4,212
    Likes Received:
    8

    Dec 20, 2014

    Sounds like a big change!

    In my district we have:
    Elementary K-4
    Intermediate 5-6
    Middle 7-8

    I like it this way, because I feel like 5th and 6th graders are too old for elementary school, but too immature for middle school. Our intermediate school teachers do a great job of helping them transition from an elementary classroom to a secondary classroom setting.
     
  8. TnKinder

    TnKinder Companion

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2013
    Messages:
    230
    Likes Received:
    28

    Dec 20, 2014

    Growing up my school district was K-6. We then moved to Jr. High, 7-9. My senior year things shifted and 6-8 became middle school and 9-12 high school. I started as a 6th grade tracher in one of few elementary building that still have 6th grade.
    I think at the very least each elementary building should get another VP to help with the additional population. Or VPs can be assigned by school,population like they do here. We have to have 500 students to get 1 VP, and 650 to get a second one. Schools with less than 500 students dont have a VP at all.
     
  9. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2009
    Messages:
    2,836
    Likes Received:
    314

    Dec 20, 2014

    My school is PreK-8, but we have a separate building for 6-8. The few standalone middle schools my district has are also 6-8.

    6th graders are special. I think as long as their teams consider their social/emotional needs specifically, it doesn't matter who else is in the building.

    Also:

    This seems excessive. Why do you need THREE administrators for 2 grade levels? That AP should go to the elementary taking on 6th. My school as 1,300 kids in Prek-8th with 1 P and 3 APs, 1 AP for each grade band. I feel like that makes more sense.
     
  10. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2007
    Messages:
    2,428
    Likes Received:
    117

    Dec 20, 2014

    My district went through that about 15 years ago. Then, several years later, we made all the elementary schools K-8.

    Get ready for a logistical nightmare regarding desks, books, buildings, etc.

    For example, I'll bet the middle school sixth grade teachers share a lot of stuff - books, PE equipment, technology, etc.

    But once the teachers are at different sites, they can't share these things anymore. If there is no budget for purchasing these things, then you may very soon have kids sitting on the floor with no books.

    I taught sixth grade the year they moved the sixth graders back to elementary. I ended up with a set of math books from two different math programs - 15 books each. For all intents and purposes, I had no books that year.

    Is sixth grade at the middle school departmentalized? Hopefully not, otherwise you have serious union issues. You'll probably have union issues anyway.
     
  11. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,468
    Likes Received:
    2,485

    Dec 20, 2014

    I didn't know that 6th grade was considered middle school until I started teaching in my current district. When I was a student, elementary school was K-6, junior high was 7-9, and high school was 10-12. I really liked that setup as a student.
     
  12. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2007
    Messages:
    4,232
    Likes Received:
    1,177

    Dec 20, 2014

    Yes--it's departmentalized. For example, when I was a 6th grade teacher, I taught ELA/Social Studies "Core" and had students for two periods at a time. All 6th grade teachers teach three 2 period long core classes consisting of one of the following: ELA/Social Studies, Math/Science, or PE/Study Skills.

    All 6th grade teachers will go from having kiddos for two 50 minute blocks to having one group of students for an entire day! :dizzy:
     
  13. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2005
    Messages:
    5,483
    Likes Received:
    991

    Dec 20, 2014

    We were k-6, 7-8, 9-12 until 1988. Then we moved to k-4, 5-6, 7-8, and 9-12. In 1998 we changed to k-5, 6-8, 9-12. Last year we went to pre-k/k, 1/2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12.

    I'd rather see 7-9 together than 6-8. Our 8th grades are too worldly for the 6th graders.
     
  14. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2009
    Messages:
    2,836
    Likes Received:
    314

    Dec 20, 2014

    Wait, they're moving to self-contained 6th?

    Can't the 6th grade teachers still semi-departmentalize in the elementary school? It'd be good for kids to switch at least once....maybe a math/sci teacher and a LA/SS teacher. It will shock them when they suddenly start switching in 7th!
     
  15. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2011
    Messages:
    1,949
    Likes Received:
    16

    Dec 20, 2014

    As a former 6th grade teacher, my only response to this is: "Oh, hell no!!!"

    Here, Elem is K-5, MS is 6-8 and HS is 9-12. The district wants to move to only having K-8 and 9-12 schools to deal with building/maintenance costs and issues but many people are resistant, so they are also considering only having K-5/K-6 and 6-12/7-12 schools.

    I've taught MS in K-8 schools and in a 6-12 school and I don't like either model; I think MS should be an entirely separate entity.
     
  16. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    24,950
    Likes Received:
    2,102

    Dec 21, 2014

    My district is K-4 and 5-8.
     
  17. bros

    bros Phenom

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Messages:
    4,105
    Likes Received:
    68

    Dec 21, 2014

    In the district I live in/student taught in, we have:
    PreK & K (Neither are required, but the majority attend a Kindergarten program)
    Three 1-4 schools
    Two 5-6 schools
    One 7-8 school
    One HS (9-12)
     
  18. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2007
    Messages:
    5,621
    Likes Received:
    5

    Dec 21, 2014

    I'm pretty sure my kids went to the same district for a few years. If I'm correct, it's now k-5, 6-8, and 9-12.

    That's also how it was broken up when I was in school. My kids' current district is k-6, 7-8, and 9-12.
     
  19. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    Messages:
    3,254
    Likes Received:
    456

    Dec 21, 2014

    How did students get enough credits to graduate?
     
  20. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,682
    Likes Received:
    457

    Dec 21, 2014

    I don't think the students have to switch classes in elementary school to handle switching in middle. I have taught middle and elementary. In 5th grade, elementary, I've taught departmentalized and self-contained. In my district, when they go to middle school in 6th, they have seven teachers. We've never had complaints that the students can't handle the change when they've come from self-contained in elementary. I personally prefer self-contained over departmentalization for a number of reasons.
     
  21. olivecoffee

    olivecoffee Companion

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2013
    Messages:
    188
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 21, 2014

    I didn't know districts didn't do K-6 until I moved away from Sacramento, CA. I grew up with K-6 at the elementary level, 7-8 as middle school, and 9-12 as high school. The districts near me in KS are generally K-5 with 6-8 as middle school.
     
  22. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,468
    Likes Received:
    2,485

    Dec 21, 2014

    Although 9th graders were housed at the middle school, all their credits were real high school credits and counted towards graduation.
     
  23. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2006
    Messages:
    7,075
    Likes Received:
    15

    Dec 21, 2014

    Growing up, schools were K, 1-5, 6-8. By the time I began subbing, they had built an intermediate school. It was now K, 1-4, 5-6, 7-8.
    When I moved to NC, I taught in a K-5 building.
    Now, I teach in a K-6 building. As a 6th grade teacher. I HATE it. These kids really should be in a middle school setting. The curriculum is such a jump and they are treated the same as they were previously. Their mentality is elementary, but the academic side is not. I'm regularly frustrated.
     
  24. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2005
    Messages:
    13,855
    Likes Received:
    1,695

    Dec 21, 2014

    The majority of schools in my area are JK - 8, then 9-12. This is what I grew up with as well, so it's what I'm used to. Our older students are wonderful ambassadors and leaders in our building. The amount of departmentalization depends on staff and admin preference, as well as what it is possible to schedule. Most of us who teach grades 6-8 teach our own class math and all areas of literacy. Last year, my grade 7 class was with me for all except Music, Phys Ed and French. This year, they have other teachers for History/Geography and Science as well.
     
  25. GemStone

    GemStone Habitué

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2011
    Messages:
    819
    Likes Received:
    166

    Dec 21, 2014

    When I was growing up, kindergarten was a separate school. Grade school was 1-6. Junior high was 7-8, and high school was 9-12. We never said elementary or middle school.

    Looks like your area is going back to the old school way, literally.
     
  26. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2008
    Messages:
    2,019
    Likes Received:
    19

    Dec 21, 2014

    My class, when I was a kid, was the first in my district to do 6th grade in middle school. I remember being very scared of the big 7th and 8th graders.
     
  27. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2007
    Messages:
    4,232
    Likes Received:
    1,177

    Dec 21, 2014

    I told my principal that I've always said I don't want to be a middle school administrator, but this might be the time to make a move. Each elementary will have two administrators for 700-800 students and the middle schools will continue to have three administrators--however, they'll only have two grade-levels to deal with!
     
  28. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

    Joined:
    May 16, 2007
    Messages:
    2,771
    Likes Received:
    52

    Dec 21, 2014

    Do the number of students justify the additional administrators? I'm just thinking if there's 1100-1200 students vs 700-800 then even though there are less grade levels there are still more total students and therefor the need for more administrators. If there are the same number of students in each building for elementary and middle then it sure as heck doesn't make sense.
     
  29. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2007
    Messages:
    4,232
    Likes Received:
    1,177

    Dec 21, 2014

    The middle schools currently have about 1,000 kids each. After the move from 6-8 to 7-8, they'll only have about 700 kids.

    Maybe I'm just frustrated that my workload is going up and theirs is going down (however, we'll all maintain the current amount of administrators).
     
  30. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2007
    Messages:
    2,428
    Likes Received:
    117

    Dec 21, 2014

    So if any of the middle school core teachers do not have multiple subject credentials, people might lose their jobs. For example, if your ELA/Social Studies core teacher has an English credential with a supplemental in history, he or she can't teach a self-contained class.

    We had a reverse issue when we went K-6. Our sixth grades elementary classes were self contained. The district mandated that all K-8 schools would be departmentalized in grades 6, 7, and 8. Our two sixth grade teachers had to move to 5th grade and bump those teachers due to the fact that they did not have a single subject credential in math, history, ELA, or social studies.

    I really hope your district has though about this stuff.
     
  31. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2007
    Messages:
    4,232
    Likes Received:
    1,177

    Dec 21, 2014

    According to the union, we have 30 sixth grade teachers. Only one of those teachers doesn't have a multiple subjects credential. S/he will keep his/her job because we have several 7th/8th grade (single subject) teachers who are slated to retire. Everyone will have a job.
     
  32. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2007
    Messages:
    2,428
    Likes Received:
    117

    Dec 21, 2014

    Next question. How many of your ELA/Social Studies teachers actually know how to teach math and science?

    How many of your math/science core teachers actually know how to teach ELA and social studies?
     
  33. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2007
    Messages:
    2,428
    Likes Received:
    117

    Dec 21, 2014

    If I was a teacher who had been teaching ELA and social studies for the last 15 years, and suddenly next year I was going to be evaluated on how well I taught subjects I had not taught in that long, I would not be too happy.
     
  34. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2007
    Messages:
    4,232
    Likes Received:
    1,177

    Dec 21, 2014

    Funny you should ask:

    I ran into my 6th grade ELA/SS teacher a few weeks ago. She is freaking out because she has only taught ELA/SS (and I must say--she's great at it). Now, she'll be moving to elementary and will be teaching ALL subjects to same group of students for the entire day.

    On paper, she's qualified to multiple subjects. I don't think she's feeling very confident, though, since she has never had to teach math & science in her 25 year career.
     
  35. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2007
    Messages:
    2,428
    Likes Received:
    117

    Dec 21, 2014

    My point exactly. My guess is that your union is all abuzz over this. If not, they should be.
     
  36. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2007
    Messages:
    2,428
    Likes Received:
    117

    Dec 21, 2014

    In the past, she could have informally teamed with other teachers and traded kids for part of the day with a teacher who was strong in math and science.

    But now that you have standardized testing that's tied to the name of a teacher, she can't do that without an official blessing from the district.
     
  37. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2007
    Messages:
    4,232
    Likes Received:
    1,177

    Dec 21, 2014

    The whole thing is going to be nuts, Sarge. Textbooks, desks, materials, etc. being moved from 4 middle schools to 15 elementary schools is going to be a logistical nightmare.
     
  38. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2009
    Messages:
    2,836
    Likes Received:
    314

    Dec 21, 2014

    This!!!

    I hope they can semi-departmentalize. We did the opposite and departmentalized based on teacher strengths from 4th-8th. It's working out a LOT better.
     
  39. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2011
    Messages:
    1,949
    Likes Received:
    16

    Dec 21, 2014

    Where were the Unions, teachers and Admin, when this was being planned? Was this initiated by the school district or the city? Or did they pull the, "this is what's best for the kids, so the adults will just have to get over it" card?
     
  40. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2011
    Messages:
    3,224
    Likes Received:
    147

    Dec 21, 2014

    Our teachers are certified k-3 (some with a 4/5 endorsement), 4-9 (two subjects), or 7-12 (one subject), so our 6th grade teachers are not certified to teach all subjects. Quite a few of our junior high teachers are certified 7-12, and so they can only teach their one subject.
     
  41. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2007
    Messages:
    2,428
    Likes Received:
    117

    Dec 22, 2014

    Wow. When we did it, we only had one middle school and seven elementary schools. Matters were complicated by the fact that the middle school was year-round and the elementary schools were traditional.

    The other issue was that the school board failed to realize that the move would actually cost money.

    They can't unless the district lets them due to test-based accountability.

    In my district, it was the result of a long standing vendetta that a few board members had against the middle school.

    In California, you either have a multiple subject or a single subject. A teacher with a multiple subject can teach "core" class of two subjects, but NCLB certification becomes iffy.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. AnnLuebbert,
  2. blazer,
  3. futuremathsprof
Total: 402 (members: 5, guests: 379, robots: 18)
test