8th Grade: The Pot of Gold at the End of the Rainbow

CHRISTINE WILLIAMS, DIRECTOR OF SECONDARY SCHOOL COUNSELING:  Frequently, middle schools are physically attached to a high school or they exist as a stand-alone environment for students in Grades 6 through 8. According to research, however, this model has multiple flaws. A far more successful model is the K-8 paradigm—which I have witnessed successfully implemented at The Peck School.

A far more successful model is the K-8 paradigm

When Peck’s eighth grade class returned at the start of this school year, I was delighted to see how each student matured over the summer months. The magical growth from seventh grade spring to eighth grade fall is transformational. From day one of the new school year, these students embraced both the privileges and the responsibilities of reaching the pinnacle grade at The Peck School.

Where else but in a K-8 environment could the very challenging years of adolescence be positively offset by the opportunity to be role models and leaders for eight other grades of younger students? Our eighth graders are not living in the shadow of older high school students. They are at the top of the ladder, and have finally reached (as one wonderful alumna recently described quite eloquently) “the pot of gold at the end of the Peck rainbow.”

Continue reading