Jeffco Schools 6th grade transition, explained

This fall, most Jeffco elementary and middle schools will open their doors to sixth graders as part of a transition to a K-5, 6-8 school model across the district. The plan is to transition all existing K-6, 7-8 neighborhood schools to the K-5, 6-8 model by the 2019-2020 school year.

The districtwide move is the result of a June 2016 decision by the Jeffco School Board to expand academic options for students. The change also uses space more efficiently within buildings, especially in areas with overcrowded elementary schools.

Transition will align Jeffco with local, national districts

Parts of Jeffco Schools, including the Conifer and Evergreen articulation areas, have had 6-8 middle schools since the 1990s. This change aligns the rest of the district with them and with the Chatfield articulation area, which transitioned in 2017-18.

Nationally, 75 percent of middle schools use the 6-8 model. This is also true locally, where districts like Cherry Creek, Denver, Douglas County and Boulder all have 6-8 middle schools.

Although most sixth grade students will transition to a 6-8 middle school in 2018-19, there are a few exceptions. Schools with existing K-8 or K-6/7-12 configurations will keep their current configuration.

Option schools, other than Manning, will also remain K-6. Three other middle schools — Creighton, Ken Caryl, and Summit Ridge — will transition in the 2019-2o school year to allow additional time to plan for capacity and enrollment.

Marcia Anker, the district’s sixth grade transition coordinator, encouraged parents to watch the Jeffco Schools Sixth Grade Transition webpage for more information about the transition if they have questions. The page includes a video for parents and frequently asked questions. 

In addition, parents are encouraged to talk to the staff at their local elementary and middle schools. Transition Advisory Committees, led by the school principal and comprised of articulation area staff, parents, and students, were formed at the beginning of the 2017-18 school year to gather community input. Creighton, Ken Caryl, and Summit Ridge middle schools will form their transition advisory committees in Fall 2018. 

Parents can also read more about the shift to the 6-8 model on Superintendent Dr. Jason Glass’ blog, Advance Jeffco.

Tina Gurdikian

Tina Gurdikian has been a Jeffco resident since 2008, and is the parent of two Jeffco Schools students. She has a BS in Environmental Analysis and Planning with a minor in Biology. In her not-so-spare time, she enjoys fostering dogs, scuba diving, backpacking, hiking, biking, and kayaking with her family. Please visit our "About Us" page to learn more about Tina and our other writers.

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