Benefits of a K-8 Education
In the 1960’s, American schools separated the K-8 traditional setting by splitting schools into elementary and a middle/junior high model. The predominate research at the time stated that students needed a higher level of academic structure, and a separation would support high school preparation. We see this same 1960’s model today, where feeder elementary schools are combined to produce larger middle schools.
As students enter adolescence, they are not cognitively prepared to handle the larger environment. Today’s middle school students are being asked to manage social skills, athletics, and academics at an exceptionally fast pace. The traditional model simply does not support the individual. At Creekside Charter, we are confronting the status quo. The existing mindset that middle school is difficult and one just needs to “get through it” should be challenged, and we are doing just that. Creekside middle school students get the support that young adolescents need to be inspired and challenged academically, as well as to develop critical social skills that will empower them throughout their lives.
How are we unique?
While we do give our upper grade students independence from the lower grades, our small and supporting campus environment distinguishes us from the rest. We place a high priority on relationships and knowing our students, allowing teachers to meet individual student needs. Students are asked to think critically, work collaboratively, and relate their learning to real world applications.
A strong emphasis is also placed on foundational learning. We know students who are strong at math, reading, and writing will be well prepared for the expectations that lie ahead in high school. Our faculty provide feedback that encourages and challenges students. Creekside teachers provide a safe classroom environment where students are free to make mistakes and learn from them. Our unique K-8 environment also empowers middle school students to take a leadership role with the younger students through programs like Reading Buddies and Math Mentors. While we follow California Curriculum, our teachers are given the autonomy and support to find, develop, and use curriculum that excites and inspires learning.
We offer four days a week of on-site instruction. This allows our students to pursue outside passions from ski racing to writing novels and everything in between. Our students display a high level of self-discipline and maturity. They are learning at a young age to balance hard work and play. An “academics first” motto pushes our students to recognize the value of their education while appreciating, and flourishing in, their outside interests.
Our teachers provide meaningful experiential trips. From local trips to Reno to national trips to Washington D.C. These experiences allow for individual growth, as well as connection between the classroom and our surrounding community. Just like our younger grades, families are encouraged to be part of our learning process. Parents are asked to volunteer and support enrichment opportunities. This year alone, our students have traveled to a teen summit at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, rock climbed on Donner Summit, taken part in Squaw Valley Institute, and partnered with local companies to better explore career options. In an age where many middle schoolers are simply dropped at the front doors, we encourage our families to play an active role in making our school better. Our students are part of a greater community that goes well beyond the walls of our campus.