“Top dogs” or “little fish”? 8th graders move up to high school

Is this a good idea? According to many 8th grade teachers, it is. For one thing, a number of 8th graders take 9th grade classes, and being at the high school makes it easier for 8th and 9th grade teachers to collaborate on what should be taught and when.

Then there is the trailer issue. “I think it is beneficial that we no longer use the trailers [at Central and Carysbrook],” said 8th grade English teacher Sherron Haley, who also moved up from the middle school to the high school this year. “Adding the 8th graders to the new high school was one of the factors in helping to eliminate the trailers,” said FCHS Principal James Barlow. “We are very proud to have them and they have been great addition to FCHS,” he added.

Still, some may be concerned to see their little 8th graders in school with much larger upperclassmen. “I think the 8th graders are a bit too young to be in our school,” said 9th grader Noah Hanson.

But is this really an issue? Eighth grade science teacher Dave Johnson said it’s not. “There is no major problem because the 8th graders are separated from the rest of the students,” he said. That is true. In fact, many upperclassmen and faculty rarely ever see the 8th graders in school. “I don’t see them at all, so there is no major problem,” said freshman Alex Ostrowski.
Also, the new high school has better academic opportunities than the old middle school. New technologies make learning much easier, and the less cramped surroundings relieve a bit of stress, according to 8th grade student Jack Stanke. “The high school is a lot nicer, cleaner, newer, and all around better than the middle school. It is much easier to learn [here].”
According to Haley and Johnson, the current 8th grade class is filled with many academically- strong students. Most of them are familiar with their new teachers, since many former middle school teachers moved up to the high school.

“They are typical 8th graders,” said 8th grade English teacher Nicole Hackenburg. “But you can see so much growth in them all as the year progresses. They all can go far if they apply themselves.”

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