Our My Two Cents question for this month is: Which model for middle schoolers do you think works best?  K-8? 6-8? 6-12? Read what some of your colleagues had to say:

7-9. I believe that most 6th graders are not ready for middle school. They are still quite immature both physically and emotionally, an. they need another year in a self-contained classroom found in most elementary schools. Additionally, the same argument could be made for 9th graders, many of whom are not mature enough for the typical American high school setting.
David Sherman, Principal, South Park Elementary School, Deerfield, Illinois


I feel that the sixth through eighth grade structure works best for students facing the challenges of middle school. The students are close in age, maturity, and hormonal levels. This makes planning for them easier because you can focus on their differentiated academic needs as well as their social and emotional growth in a fairly concentrated manner. 
Andrea E. Coleman-Hill, Director of Data Analysis, Assessments and Research, Governor Mifflin School District, Shillington, Pennsylvania

Given your experience working with students in the middle grades, what grade configuration do you think is best for these children?

6th grade center

I am the Principal at the 6th grade center in Lebanon, MO. It is a unique opportunity for students, but over time can be stressful for the adults. I believe it is the best way for those students who need to be a kid can and those that want a little more adult environment can. We move between classrooms and students still have recess. The best of both worlds.

Best grade for middle level...5/6.

My school is a 5th and 6th grade school and it works very well. Those 6th graders who are too young for middle school and those 5th graders too mature for elementary have found a home. It has served our students and our community well as the students are able to 'gently' transition into adolescence. Along with our rigorous academic program we offer the students lessons in organization (have you ever seen a 5th grader's locker), how to keep up with a long-term project, research protocol, and social survival. It's a great transitional set-up.

Mark