K-8 Conversion FAQs

  • Which elementary schools are currently involved?

    All elementary schools that have at least one classroom available will engage their school community in developing a K-8 model to share with the school board in May 2017.

  • What is the target date to begin adding a 7th grade option at the elementary level?

    Fall 2018.

  • Will 7th grade students be required to attend a K-8 school in fall 2018?

    No. K-8 schools will provide a 7th (and eventually an 8th) grade option for parents. Families who want a traditional middle school setting will continue to have that option.

  • Will there be transportation?

    Yes, transportation within the current attendance areas will continue to be provided by First Student.

  • What's the current plan for Tanana Middle?

    At this time all middle schools will remain open during the transition years.

  • What’s the next decision to be made by the school board?

    In May 2017, the superintendent will present an update to the school board.

  • How are principals involved?

    School principals have been meeting to structure the individual school stakeholder planning process.

  • When will the school teams begin their planning?

    School principals will begin contacting parents and staff to assemble stakeholder planning teams in December.

  • When will we get an update on that planning?

    A report to the school board will be provided once school teams have developed their site plans.  Principals will also send out information to their school communities throughout the planning process.

  • What does a K-8 school look like?

    There are endless K-8 models. K-8 schools have various structures intended to serve their students. Some have multi-grade settings, others are based on an open classroom concept, and many are community based in focus. The K-8 schools in this district will have a structure, focus and philosophy based on the work done by the school community over the next year. This is an opportunity for parents and community to build a school that is innovative and focused on what each school community wants for their children.

  • What does this mean for sports and activities?

    Currently, students attending K-8 schools in the district have opportunities to participate in middle school sports by joining the middle school teams. This is anticipated to continue. Details about what types of afterschool activities in K-8 settings will be determined as part of the planning process. Parents will be provided information on this as they make choices for each of their own children.

  • What is the research about K-8 schools and if they are a good thing for students?

    There are an increasing number of school districts transitioning to K-8 schools. This has provided for research that compares the outcomes of students who transition to middle school or stay at a K-8 school. You can read more about the K-8 research.

  • What happens to the staff at K-8 and middle schools?

    If a school converts to K-8, there will need to be additional staffing. Teachers in the district, including those at middle school, with qualifications, will be able to apply for the positions created at the K-8 school.

  • Is full-day Kindergarten a part of this?

    As a separate process, the district is looking at implementing full day Kindergarten as soon as practicable in all schools. Currently, full day Kindergarten is operating at Barnette, Chinook, Hunter, Joy, Ladd, Watershed, Salcha and Two Rivers. Information on full day Kindergarten will be shared with parents as soon as it becomes available.

  • What happens to class size if schools convert to K-8?

    If a school’s population increases as a result of K-8, more teachers will be allocated to the school to keep the class size within class size targets. Schools will be staffed according to school board class size targets.

  • Will increasing the number of classrooms in use for K-8 force students to be in rooms with no windows?

    Programs and offices currently placed in a classroom with windows would be moved to another area to make available the classrooms with windows for K-8 classes.

  • What will happen to services such as counseling?

    Currently, elementary schools have one counselor, and secondary schools have counselors allocated based on student count.