K to Grade 8 schools?

Public school trustees will vote Wednesday night on whether to make Glendale, Normandeau and G.H. Dawe schools kindergarten to Grade 8 facilities.

Public school trustees will vote Wednesday night on whether to make Glendale, Normandeau and G.H. Dawe schools kindergarten to Grade 8 facilities.

Don Falk, superintendent of Red Deer Public School District, has recommended the board approve the reconfiguration.

The district began looking at the change after provincial achievement tests showed that overall Glendale Middle School students had “very low achievement.”

Research has suggested eliminating one transition from elementary to middle school could help improve achievement by creating caring relationships among students, their teachers and classmates that would last over more years.

The kindergarten to Grade 8 model would be well-suited to programs of choice and could enable the district to have a science and technology, sports, arts, Spanish language or year-round focused school.

Since the proposal was put forward in March, four public meetings have taken place to gauge support and identify the public’s issues.

If approved, the soonest the schools would change to kindergarten to Grade 8 facilities would be the 2010-2011 school year. If the proposal moves forward, a committee would be established to address the specific details related to implementing the initiative.

Both the board and administration have reserved comment on the proposal until the board meeting on Wednesday.