Disclosure: This post was written and sponsored by St. Paul’s Episcopal School
There are Many Advantages to a Pre-K Through 8th Grade School
Families today have lots of options when making a decision on a grammar school and it’s important to choose one that best suits your family. When researching school communities, there are many factors that may resonate personally, while others might have more to do with the academics or mission of the school itself. So why choose a Pre-K through 8th grade school? More and more studies are finding that there are significant advantages. Below are just a few of the findings.
What Are the Specific Advantages of Pre-K Through 8th Grade School?
The continuity of teachers, classmates, programs, and expectations appears to enhance academic, social, and emotional development for students leading to greater academic achievement and improved self-esteem and confidence. (Rand Study and National Middle School Association Study.) Pre-K through 8th grade schools recognize these are a child’s formative years and intentionally design hands-on learning programs for their students. The focus on project-based learning engages students by being fun while allowing them to achieve through problem-solving, which ultimately sets the stage for future success.
With each passing year, students in a Pre-K through 8th grade school become well known within the student body. This provides a strong foundation to feel safe and build confidence as they transition from lower to middle school. A part of this growth can sometimes be difficult for young adolescents, so not disrupting this critical developmental period with a school change, is key to the child’s success. By allowing the child to mature from lower school into the same middle school preserves their childlike nature.
Mentoring programs such as Panther Pals, where a younger and older child are “buddied,” provide an opportunity for younger children to model their older pal while encouraging the older student to be empathetic, caring friends. This type of experience provides middle school students with age-appropriate activities and events while taking on a leadership role. But at the same time, they can be themselves and not be influenced by social pressures often found in high school.
Students’ interests, strengths, and talents are defined during the middle school years. High school choices are more easily determined by the time they are in eighth grade, and the student is better prepared to have a voice in the selection. Change in ninth grade is good. Students are well prepared to make new friends and accept new challenges and make a smooth transition into high school. The eighth grade experience allows the students to be the school leaders, the ones that the others look up to. Finally, students have a feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment in completing the program and receiving a diploma. It can truly be said, “job well done!”
Do Your Research to Discover the Merits of Pre-K – 8th Grade Schools
We encourage you to read the many studies (including this one from the Journal of Early Adolescence) about the proven merits of Pre-K–8th grade schools. And we also invite you to visit St. Paul’s Episcopal School, where you’ll observe all the advantages of the transformative Pre-K–8 experience yourself. They will be hosting Open Houses as well as virtual tours. For more information, check out our Website and follow us on Facebook.