Research on School Configuration

  • Research on School Configuration

    Student learning is the focus of Cache County School District. Regardless of the grade configuration, it is our responsibility to provide quality education and address the needs of individual students. Schools must create cultures that develop partnerships with parents and establish community relationships that contribute to overall student success.

    Current Configurations

    • 2 (K-2) Schools: North Park, Sunrise
    • 2 (3-5) Schools: Greenville, Summit
    • 10 (K-5) Schools
    • All South end is K-5 as well as Park and Lewiston on the North end

    Factors to Consider

    • Student Travel (cost and length)
    • Increase/decrease of parent involvement
    • Number of students at each grade level (class groupings and courses offered)
    • Effect of school setting on achievement
    • Number of school transitions for students
    • Opportunities for interaction between age groups

    Research on Configuration

    • Research has provided no definitive answer on the most effective grade configuration.
    • Each community and school district considers different factors when making grade span decisions and no one grade configuration is right for all.
    • Researchers agree that generally the quality of the school and the instruction was more important than the grade configuration in viewing academic progress of students.
    • Simply changing the school configuration is not enough to increase achievement.
    • There is no clear indication that any grade configuration is more successful than any other.
    • No particular sequence of grade spans is perfect or guarantees student achievement.
    • What has greater implications of student success is influenced by leadership, classroom teacher, and daily instructional strategies.
    • Most studies focus on the impact of transition on learning when students move from one school to another. These studies suggest that transitions may have a negative impact on students and should be minimized.
    • The longer students stay in one school, the more relationships they form with teachers and other adults.
      • The more such relationships, the stronger a student's support system and likelihood of success.

    Characteristics of a Quality School

    • A clear and shared focus
    • High standards and expectations for all students
    • Effective school leadership
    • High levels of collaboration and communication
    • Curriculum, instruction, and assessments aligned with state standards
    • Frequent monitoring of learning and teaching
    • Focused professional development
    • A supportive learning environment
    • High levels of parents and community involvement
    • There is no clear indication that any grade configuration is more successful than any other.

    Advantages of K-2 and 3-5

    • Narrows the focus of curriculum
    • Larger numbers of teachers to collaborate with on grade level
    • More classrooms per grade level may provide more opportunities to match students to teachers according to teaching and learning styles
    • More teacher resources available in media center geared towards individual grade levels.
    • Students feel safe being with other students their own age
    • Support staff such as resource teachers, specialists, and media teachers may benefit from a narrower grade span
    • Students may be able to participate on an equal level in more activities and be less influenced by older students

    Advantages of K-5

    • More convenient for families for parental involvement, PTA participation, and parent volunteers
    • Grade level communication of curriculum, alignment, and coordination is easier to facilitate
    • Consistent communication with families since all children are at one campus
    • Less transition between schools
    • Staff/student/parent relationships have more longevity
    • More opportunities for interaction between grade groups including tutoring
    • Avoid scheduling overlaps in family involvement from campus to campus, such as Parent Teacher Conferences