Sixth Grade Q&A
- When will the sixth grade transition to middle school happen?
- Do our current middle schools have the space to add sixth graders?
- How will new boundaries affect middle school students?
- What academic programs and curriculum will be taught in sixth grade at middle school?
- Will sixth-grade students still be able to attend Camp Waskowitz?
- Which middle schools will offer Dual Language?
- Will other language learning be available?
- Will sixth grade sports be added in middle school?
- What after-school activities will be available to sixth-grade students?
- Math 6: Math In Focus, (current math curriculum)
- Math 7: Math In Focus, Pre-Algebra
- Math 8: Math In Focus, Algebra
A year-long sixth-grade science curriculum is under development based on Next Generation Science Standards (includes Life Science, Earth and Space Science, Physical Science).
Year-long language arts curriculum is being developed for sixth grade based on state standards.
Year-long social studies curriculum is being developed for sixth grade based on state standards.
Sixth grade students will have an advisory class, just like other middle school students, which is small, together all year, used for team building, social and emotional learning and anti-bullying education.
Sixth grade sports will be added in middle school. The format is under development and may be a mixture of intramural and competitive league sports.
All middle schools that are members of the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) have a four-season athletic program. Football, soccer, volleyball, wrestling, track and field, cross country, softball and basketball are offered in seventh and eighth grade at our main middle schools.
We are proposing that a limited number of sixth grade students compete in track and field, wrestling and cross country along with seventh and eighth grade students. An intramural sports program will be available to all sixth grade students: boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, flag football, softball, yoga and general fitness.
Sixth-grade students will be able to participate in after-school activities. In addition to sports, middle school activities and clubs may include:
- Homework help, noon and after school
- Book Club
- Latino Club
- Polynesian Club
- Black Student Union
- Science Club
- Drama Club
- Art Club
- Robotics Club
- STEAM Club
- Community Outreach Club
- ASB\Student Government
- Leadership Class
Clubs and activities may vary from school to school.
- Are sixth graders socially and emotionally ready for the middle school environment?
- What does research say about sixth grade in middle schools?
- What are the long-term academic/social pros of moving sixth grade to middle school?
- How will you support students and families with this transition?
- How will you ensure that sixth graders will be safe and secure with seventh and eighth graders?
- How are staff and students prepared to prevent and address harassment and bullying?
Since tens of thousands of middle schools across the nation are grades 6-7-8, there is plenty of data and information about this model. Many school districts in King County and across the state have used this model for many years.
When we completed the study in 2009, though all of our neighboring districts have 6-7-8 middle schools, the school board decided not to make the switch because of the logistical issues involved. However, many middle school teachers have expressed an interest in adding sixth grade in order to have more time to build relationships and to nurture learning in their students. We see this as an opportunity to capitalize on those positive aspects of the 6-7-8 model.
Students will have the opportunity to take a variety of electives matched to their needs and strengths. This will allow them to explore a wider range of interests and potential career directions and will help them stay engaged in school.
Families and students will have three full years to develop relationships with teachers and staff. This consistency and personalization are especially important during the critical early teen years in a student’s life.
Sixth graders will be challenged to meet the higher expectations that go with middle school. They will be pushed academically by being with older, rather than younger, peers, and they will have the opportunity to develop the behaviors, attitudes, and habits they will need to succeed in high school and college.
- Where can I find information for teachers affected by the transition of sixth grade to middle school?
- Will middle schools receive additional resources to serve the additional students?
Two meetings were held in spring 2018 by district staff and Highline Education Association (HEA) staff to provide information for elementary teachers interested in teaching sixth grade in middle school.
The transfer process and timeline will be publicized to HEA members and administrators in August 2018. Check for more information from Human Resources on the Staff Hub.