K-8 Updates

Exploring K-8 Options

  • The Fairbanks North Star Borough School District administration is gearing up for the potential that elementary schools with room capacity may convert to K-8 schools.

    The Board will determine whether the schools convert to K-8 and the date that this would occur. While the conversion date has not been established, the earliest that this may occur is the fall of 2018.

    If the Board approves the conversion of some elementary schools into K-8 schools, beginning in the fall of 2018, 7th and 8th grade students will have the option to stay in their K-8 neighborhood school, or attend middle school.

Why is the district exploring creating K-8 schools at current K-6 schools?

    • Parents, in a 2014 strategic planning survey, expressed a desire for additional choices for their children in elementary setting.

    • 40% of participants in a January 2016 survey, or 849 of 2,149 respondents, expressed an interest in a K-8 structure, indicating that a number of families are interesting in considering a K-8 setting as a possible choice for their child.

    • The Board is interested in providing both a middle school structure, and a K-8 structure for parents to choose from for their children.

    • The strategic plan calls for personalized learning for students, providing an opportunity for schools to re-envision how we provide programs that meet the needs and interests of students.

    • Developing a K-8 plan provides schools an opportunity to engage their community in a building focused vision for their neighborhood schools.

    • Educational research finds that transition to another school has negative impacts not only to students’ achievement, but also to psychological, social and emotional outcomes, as well as student discipline outcomes. Research finds that fewer transitions, especially when the transition impacts young adolescents, create more positive outcomes in these areas.

      • Students who attend K-8 schools have higher academic achievement during early adolescence as well as through out high school years in comparison to students who have transitioned through middle school and junior high schools.

      • Teachers report significantly fewer discipline issues in K-8 schools than in middle and junior high schools.

      • Students attending middle and junior high schools report lower self esteem and other psychological, social and emotional outcomes than students who attend K-8 schools.

    Learn more about the K-8 research.

  • Questions and comments

Potential K-8 Schools

  • The schools that are being considered for possible conversion to K-8 are any elementary school with at least one available classroom.

Resources for Parents

  • Parents will want to consider many factors when making the decision about where their student will attend. One of the resources we have to offer parents are research studies that provide information about how students do in the different school configurations through 8th grade.

    Read the summaries of the research.

    Presentation to the School Board
    (June 6,  2016)

    Review the K-8 Options Survey results.

Timeline for Potential K-8 Conversion