People are often curious about the difference between an elementary school and a Preschool-8 school. While visiting WNS, you’ll notice the confidence, fearlessness, and kindness of our students. We believe the Preschool-8 environment plays a vital role in developing these characteristics. Below are just a few examples of the Preschool-8 difference.
Childhood is preserved
Our elementary and middle school environment allows students to experience age-appropriate activities and events. Seventh and eighth graders are not caught in the middle, but take on the leadership role of “seniors.” At the same time they can be themselves, often remaining younger a bit longer and not as directly influenced by the social pressures common in high school. Young adolescents trying to establish themselves in a world of older students pushes them to grow up faster in order to fit in. In our Preschool-8 environment, emerging adolescents are given the nurturing and age-appropriate support they need for a healthy, confident transition to the high school years and beyond.
National studies show the advantages
National studies show the advantages of PS-8 and K-8 schools for students at all grade levels. The continuity of teachers, classmates, programs, and expectations appears to enhance academic, social, and emotional development for students leading to greater academic achievement and improved self-esteem and confidence.
Leadership and activity opportunities
The oldest students on any campus assume the mantle of leadership and act as role models for the entire student body, a powerful element in the development of character and emotional stability in young adolescents. Our middle school students rise to the challenge and serve on the Executive Board of our Student Council, lead their Family Groups, have the starring roles in the spring musical, and play on our school’s highest-level athletic teams. Enjoying both the privileges and responsibilities in the seventh and eighth grades better prepares students for those same opportunities in high school and beyond.
Family Groups and Buddies
Family Groups and Buddies have positive effects on both younger and older students. Working as a team in Family Groups and with grade level buddies creates a personal connection between older and younger students at WNS. They provide a positive role model for younger children while encouraging empathy in the older students.
A growing mind
By eighth grade, you know your child better as a learner and a person. A student’s academic strengths, interests, learning styles, and social-emotional development become more clearly defined as they approach pre-adolescence. There are excellent high school choices, each with its own strengths and areas of focus. By the time your child is in eighth grade, the best match for high school is much easier to determine.
A change at ninth grade is good
Research shows that keeping children in a consistent and familial educational environment through the elementary and middle school years is ideal. At ninth grade, students are eager to experience new friendships and challenges that support their individual interests before college and are ready to make a smooth and confident transition into high school.
High school choice and process is a team effort where students have a voice
The Head of School and eighth grade faculty work in partnership with students and their parents to find a high school match that honors each child’s unique gifts and achievements. Eighth graders are highly involved in our process through self-reflection and personalized meetings and are better aware of what they value in a high school. Our students are sought after as high school freshmen because they are academically well prepared, self-assured, well-rounded, and are strong moral citizens. We proudly matriculate our eighth graders to a variety of college-preparatory high schools throughout the greater Los Angeles area. This experience prepares students for making life and college choices.