on October 10, 2016 by in Golden News, Comments Off on Letter: All for sixth-grade switch

Letter: All for sixth-grade switch

I was a public and private school teacher (mostly sixth grade) for 16 years and am now a Golden business owner in the field of education. I am also a Jeffco mom of a middle schooler and a fifth grader. In my experience as an educator and parent, sixth graders are very successful in the middle school setting. In fact, as a sixth-grade teacher for many years, I preferred having my students in a middle school setting because most 11-year-olds are ready to spread their wings, have multiple teachers and electives, take science daily, and learn to juggle the demands and rewards of middle school life. Yes, believe it or not, middle school can be rewarding!

The key is for middle schools to ensure that sixth graders are treated differently than other middle schoolers! In my son’s Jeffco middle school, Bell, sixth graders were grouped together in a distinct part of the school to decrease travel time between classes and help them feel like they were part of the sixth-grade family. Sixth graders at Bell had lunch together and without any eighth graders. Another school in which I taught had a similar model and it worked beautifully. Sixth graders felt nurtured and safe when the school honored the fact that it is a transition year.

I can confidently say that Jeffco parents and educators will enjoy having sixth graders in their middle schools for all of the reasons discussed above and more. I am thrilled that my daughter will go to sixth grade in a middle school and enjoy the same exciting year my son had.

Additionally, I am grateful that my son will have had three full years at Bell growing into a knowledgeable and (mostly!) responsible teenager who is undoubtedly ready for high school.

Cindy Pearson,




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