Benefits of a K-8 Education

Leadership Opportunities

Students at K-8 schools have more leadership opportunities at an earlier age which instills confidence and a sense of responsibility. All grades at EHS (even the youngest students) have public speaking, presentation, and performance opportunities. Additionally, every student in grades 4-8 is a “big buddy” to a younger student, enabling them to be mentors, role models, and compassion supporters. By the time EHS students are in 7th and 8th grades, they participate in a special full-year leadership course where they practice and apply skills for community based projects. EHS graduates report that they’re better prepared than their peers for everything from public speaking to advocating for themselves to leading a club or team.

Self Discovery

Each child’s unique learning style, personal interests, and talents emerge and evolve over time. The K-8 model provides a safe environment within a consistent setting for students to explore their individual potential. EHS students also have the opportunity to explore their own expression of Judaism with increasing depth and richness as they enter the upper school. Our students graduate with the ability to identify their strengths and challenges and to pursue their passions with self-assuredness.

Nurturing Environment

Research shows that students in a K-8 school form a more cohesive community with stronger bonds as compared to the traditional elementary/middle school model. They also have an increased sense of belonging, rooted in mutual respect. At EHS, the low student-to-teacher ratios, focus on individualized academic goals, and spotlight on social-emotional development create a school community which is dedicated to supporting students’ growth during different stages of development, including the more challenging “tween” and early teenage years.

Cross Grade Community

The K–8 model promotes community across grade levels because older students serve as role models and mentors for younger students. These cross-grade relationships are rewarding for both the younger and older students and build confidence and social skills. Rather than being “caught in the middle,” sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students are given the opportunity to develop their leadership skills in a smaller community under the mentorship of teachers who have fostered students’ growth and maturity over time.

Higher Academic Achievement

Educational research shows that students from K-8 schools have higher academic achievement as measured by both grade point averages and standardized test scores in reading and math. This paradigm creates a greater sense of community between teachers and students, with students having fewer transitions enabling them to mature and take academic risks in a nurturing environment. Many EHS graduates place into advanced humanities, math and science courses in high school.

Increased Preparedness for Change

Students’ growth within the K-8 school model follows their natural development. The intimacy of the K–8 environment, and the delayed transition to a new school until students are more mature, result in increased success, responsibility, and happiness. For example, the EHS 5th grade year program is a bridge year between lower and upper school, preparing them for greater rigor and more independence. By the time students are ready for the move to high school — whether public or private school— the timing is just right. EHS graduates report that they are eager and well-prepared with the tools to navigate a larger social and academic environment. Making the switch to a new school can be difficult, but the experience of transition is invaluable when you have confidence and excellent preparation. Students who move from EHS to a new high school have a maturity that helps them confidently transition to college and beyond.