Why a Grade K-8 Program

There are many school models for educating your child. The positive results of a K-8 education were noted in a study done by Dr. Robert Offenberg of Philadelphia. He found that students from K-8 schools were 11% more likely to be enrolled in a selective high school program. These students also demonstrated a higher GPA in 9th Grade. The smaller class sizes, and smaller school-size of many K-8 schools are a contributing factor toward these outcomes. 

❖       Every school has its own culture and educational approach. Fit between student and school is essential to a student’s success. By eighth grade, you will know your child as a learner. In the elementary years, your child’s academic strengths, interests, learning styles and gifts become defined. By the time your child is thirteen, the best “match” for high school will be easier to determine.

❖       As an eighth grader, your child can be involved in choosing the high school. During the early childhood years, you, as a parent, must make the school decisions. By the end of middle school, however, your child can be and is equipped to be involved in choosing the next learning environment. This family choice, involving your eighth grader with the support of the school, is a developmentally appropriate and affirming way to choose a high school.

❖       Children often need a change. Nine years is a long time to be in one school and children are ready for a change of venue, new friends and new challenges. Few students begin in kindergarten and graduate as twelfth graders from the same school. All 8th graders leave SCDS together offering support to one another. As a ninth grader, children are eager to experience new friendships and another environment that supports their interests before college.

❖       Your child will have early leadership and activity opportunities. Older students at SCDS publish their own yearbook, become part of interscholastic athletic teams beginning in fourth grade, sing in the school chorus, conduct school-wide student service activities, serve as buddies to the younger students and assume the mantle of leadership and act as role models for the entire student body. In schools that have a high school program, these leadership opportunities are geared toward high school students.

❖       The school works in partnership with you and your child to find a high school “match” that recognizes your child’s unique gifts and achievements. Beginning in the spring of seventh grade, parents meet with the placement team and receive a checklist and timeline. Individualized meetings with families, as well as high school planning sessions during 8th grade advisory are part of a well -designed, personalized placement process to support you and your child. SCDS students are sought after by high schools because they are well-prepared, self-assured, self-confident and well-rounded students, often becoming leaders in high school.

❖       The elementary school familial environment allows students to experience age appropriate activities and events, without the influence and pressure of older students. Seventh and eighth graders are not “caught in the middle” but take on the role of “seniors.” At the same time, they can be themselves, and often remaining “younger” at bit longer. Our facilities are age appropriate and reserved for the use of all of our students. Students have access to all of the resources available on our campus. Our teachers are cognizant of developmental levels and committed to the elementary and middle school years.

❖       The “SCDS connection” continues throughout life. Our graduates maintain the close friendships they acquired during their years at SCDS.