K-8 News and Updates

  • Take The K-8 Parent Interest Survey!

    Posted by Brenna M. Carlson on 11/1/2017

    Parents, please take our K-8 Interest Survey! All K-8 model schools are starting the process of gauging interest in 7th grade enrollment for the 2018-2019 school year. 


    K-8 Interest Survey










    K-8 Interest Survey


    Principals at Arctic Light, Hunter, Joy, Ladd and Nordale are excited to share their individual school K-8 models with the Fairbanks community. Check out each schools individual K-8 Model here: 


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  • K-8 Timeline

    Posted by Rebecca Hurbi on 10/6/2017

    Principals at Arctic Light, Hunter, Joy, Ladd and Nordale are preparing to advertise the school’s K-8 models this month. Information will be available via brochures at Parent Teacher Conference, on websites, and through social media posting. Please find additional information about the conversion timeline below.

    • October 4-17: K-8 teams finalize informational brochure for their K-8 school.

    • October 20: Each school's informational brochures available for parent teacher conferences, posting on school websites, k-8 page, and district social media sites.

    • By October 25: Open Parent Interest Survey prior to parent teacher conferences. Paper copies will be available at K-8 schools.

    • October 30-November 17: Schools communicate to parents regarding Parent Interest Survey for 7th grade at K-8 schools.

    • November 17: Close Parent Interest Survey.

    • December: Schools build master schedules.

    • January: Parents finalize choice. Lottery process used to determine student placement.
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  • Resources for Parents

    Posted by BRENNA CARLSON on 2/8/2017

    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.

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  • K-8 Conversion FAQs

    Posted by BRENNA CARLSON on 2/3/2017
    • 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.

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

    Posted by BRENNA CARLSON on 1/31/2017
    • 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.

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