EleMiddle (Gr. 1-8) Elementary Schools
Normandy Elementary Schools are now Grade 1-8 "EleMiddle" Buildings
When Normandy leadership first proposed building a new school in the Collaborative, the initial idea was to replace the current Normandy 7th-8th Grade Center with a new building for these grade levels. However, when carefully weighing all of the options, we saw this as an opportunity to help make a shift in the overall academic performance for our children.
The decision was made to shift the configuration of the elementary schools from grades 1-6 to grades 1-8, moving 7th and 8th grade students to the elementary levels and eliminating the current middle school structure. This new model is also referred to as the "EleMiddle" model.
The new structure went into effect with the 2019-2020 school year.
Before making the decision to reconfigure the elementary school system, NSC leadership reviewed Normandy student performance data going back to 2002 and found that academic progress consistently stalled when students reached the middle school years. This stall has led to students being below grade-level going into high school, which has a negative effect on student academic performance, end-of-course exam and standardized tests (e.g., ACT, Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB)) scores.
The next step was to look at alternative school configurations that may better meet the academic and social needs of our student population. After analyzing and discussing considerable research in this area, we realized that our students may do better in a smaller, less concentrated environment where they would receive more one-on-one attention while still being exposed to the rigor and extracurricular opportunities needed for this critical age group. Based on this, the decision was made to recommend changing the configuration of our elementary schools to include grades 7 and 8, or an “EleMiddle” model.
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Benefits of 'EleMiddle' Schools
- EleMiddle schools have higher levels of parent involvement, tend to be smaller in size and eliminate at least one additional transition by students across school types.
- The researchers found that the students in the K–8 schools had higher academic achievement as measured by both grade point averages and standardized test scores, especially in math.
- These students also participated more in extracurricular activities, demonstrated greater leadership skills, and were less likely to be bullied than those following the elementary/middle school track.
- Parents, teachers, and administrators at many schools that remained K–8 discovered anecdotally that their students demonstrated fewer behavioral problems and higher academic achievement than many students enrolled in middle schools.
- One advantage parents cited of K-8 schools was that they could still be involved in their child’s school, as they were in the earlier grades.