Proposed switch will give sixth graders fuller educations


To the Editor:
I wish to express my support for transitioning the 6th grade to middle school. I am a certified teacher with 10 years of experience here. I currently have a 2nd grader at Emerson and am the sitting PTA President.

We’re excited about this transition, not only for our son but because it’s an opportunity for our students to have greater access to electives like band and choir. At Emerson, band is only offered a few days a week before school with no district transportation, limiting participation. Sixth graders will also have access to other electives and extracurricular programs, as well as a more rigorous science curriculum which could contribute to improved District test scores.

Under the current model, some 6th graders spend at least the last 15 minutes of the school day escorting the younger students out to pick up. While this may be considered leadership, they would be much better served in an actual leadership class with peers. 6th graders will also gain access to a broader selection of books in the library, allowing them to pursue niche interests and challenge their reading levels.

The social/emotional gap between a kindergartner and a 6th grader is much wider than that between 6th and 8th graders. Yes, there are parental concerns about 6th graders being with older students but consider our youngest learners. This shift might prevent another mom from having to explain male genitalia and curse words added to a school copy of “Captain Underpants.”  

Rachel Horkin