When considering where to enroll your children for school, you will likely be faced with the decision of public vs. private schools. While each have their benefits, we’d like to highlight for you one of the key benefits of choosing a private Catholic school like Saint Cecelia.
Saint Cecelia is a K-8 school, meaning students continue in the same school from kindergarten until eighth grade when they are ready to transition to high school. This K-8 model has proven successful for several reasons, and today we’d like to share some of the advantages of choosing a K-8 school for your family.
Promotes Academic Excellence
Research from the Columbia Graduate School of Business has shown that it is academically beneficial for students to stay in the same school for grades K-8 rather than transitioning to a separate middle school.1
Students in K-8 schools have been shown to have higher academic performance than students enrolled in middle schools. A contributing factor for this may be that students enrolled in K-8 schools also have higher attendance rates than those in middle schools.1
Attendance plays an important role in academics as consistent attendance leads to consistent studying and ultimately higher grades.
Fosters a Sense of Community & Family
Students who attend a K-8 school see the same classmates, faculty, and families for years. They are given the opportunity to build a community, a sense of belonging, and lasting friendships, all of which contribute to good social and emotional development. The longer a student stays in one school, the more relationships he or she will form. These relationships with other students and faculty ultimately contribute to the student’s support system and success.
In K-8 schools, older students have more opportunities to take on leadership roles. They have opportunities to mentor and tutor the younger students (including younger siblings enrolled in the same school). This gives the younger students someone to look up to and helps them achieve academic success while offering enjoyable and character building experiences for the older students.
K-8 schools provide a sense of continuity and familiarity for students (and parents). When children know what to expect, where everything is, consequences for their actions, and how the school is organized and managed, they feel at home. In addition, a study published in the American Education Research Journal comparing the experiences of K-8 students and middle school students showed that K-8 students reported feeling safer than middle school students did.2,3 They also reported less instances of bullying and fighting and a greater sense of belonging than their middle school peers did. , Because of this level of comfort in K-8 schools, children can spread their wings without worry or hesitation.
Is a K-8 School Best for Your Family?
There is no easy answer as to which school or school model is best for your family, but we hope the advantages we’ve shared in this article help you feel more informed and prepared when facing this difficult and personal decision. If you have questions about Saint Cecelia or would like more information about our school, the K-8 model we utilize, and what we can offer your children, please feel free to contact us. We’d be happy to discuss additional reasons parents choose Saint Cecelia School for their children.
1. “Benefits of a Catholic Education.” St. Raphael School, Accessed 24 Aug. 2017, http://www.straphaelschoolmd.org/pages/StRaphaels_School/About_Us/Benefits_of_a_Catholic_Educati ↩
2. “Sixth Grade is Tough; It Helps to be ‘Top Dog’”. NPR, Accessed 24 Aug. 2017, http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/09/19/494232646/sixth-grade-is-tough-it-helps-to-be-top-dog ↩
3. “Do Top Dogs Rule in Middle School? Evidence on Bullying, Safety, and Belonging.” American Education Research Association, Accessed 24 Aug. 2017, http://www.aera.net/Newsroom/Recent-AERA-Research/Do-Top-Dogs-Rule-in-Middle-School-Evidence-on-Bullying-Safety-and-Belonging↩
St. Cecelia Interparochial Catholic School (SCS) offers an academically challenging and globally minded interdisciplinary education to children in PreK-3 through 8th grade.
1350 Court Street
Clearwater, FL 33756
Extended Day: 727-385-4851
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