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Edmonds School District

Middle School Configuration

Note from the Superintendent

Dear Edmonds Community:

We would like to share some background and perspective as we engage in a discussion about the possibility of moving our middle schools from the current Grade 7/Grade 8 configuration to a Grade 6/Grade 7/Grade 8 configuration. Probably the most critical question that many are asking is why are we even considering this change? There are a couple of important factors that make up the answer to this question. The purpose of this note is to introduce the section on the website with our documents which provide more detailed information about the possibility of moving 6th grade to middle school.

First, while our middle schools do a great job of educating our students, we know that there is much research that points to students adjusting better in schools where they spend more time than the current 2 years our 7-8 configuration allows. Having students in middle school for three years would allow our staff to work with them and their families for a longer period of time, creating stronger relationships that will serve them well when they make the transition to high school. In addition, standards and curriculum are typically designed for a grade 6-8 model.

Second, we are dealing with significant capacity issues at our elementary schools across our district. Those of you with elementary aged children know this better than anyone. Our elementary schools are at or have exceeded capacity. Moving to a 6-8 middle school configuration will allow us to address capacity issues at our elementary schools while also allowing us to better plan for growth at our elementary schools in the years to come.

You may have many questions about this possible change and we want to make sure that we get you the answers. The links in this section answer the most common questions that have come up. It is important that you know the first group of students that this change could potentially impact is our current First Graders, the Graduating Class of 2030.

Finally, we want you to know that if we do move our middle schools to a 6-8 configuration, our plan is to be thoughtful and intentional about implementing changes. We understand that transitions from elementary school to middle school are critical times for our students and their families, and we want you to know that we will attend to this by working with our staff and community to create systems and structures that support the academic, social and emotional well-being of all students.

Sincerely, Dr. Kris McDuffy, Superintendent