When you find yourself with your child in the check-out line at Ralphs...
When you find yourself with your child in the check-out line at Ralphs, and the person behind you comments on your well-mannered offspring wearing her Chandler uniform, and that person asks what school she goes to, and you say Chandler, the next question could be, "What's Chandler like?" You may want to talk about Chandler as a K-8 school and use some of the following points that support our K-8 identity.
Chandler's resources are dedicated to K-8 learners. The gym, theater, art rooms and library are not shared with high school students. These spaces are purposefully designed, stocked and staffed with the K-8 learner in mind. Unique to Chandler in the San Gabriel Valley, we have a dedicated science lab for each middle school grade. Chandler teachers are K-8 specialists. Our varsity coaches work with all our Lower School students.
There is a seriousness of academic purpose in a K-8, especially in Middle School, where Chandler students have to work hard to realize their academic potential before applying to high school. Students in middle schools attached to high schools may be able to coast in middle school in ways that Chandler students cannot. High schools report that Chandler graduates transition into 9th grade as confident, well-prepared, well-rounded learners.
There are more leadership opportunities in a K-8 school. Our middle school students take charge of student government and are able to make their voices heard. They are not a subgroup of a high school student council. Our 5th graders and 8th graders are student body leaders in the Lower and Middle Schools. Our middle schoolers are captains of sports teams, editors of yearbooks, leads in plays and role models for younger students through the buddy program and school group activities.
A K-8 configuration allows us to provide a wholesome environment dedicated to the developmental needs of each student. Chandler students have to remain on campus throughout the day. There are no parking or traffic problems with student drivers, and public displays of affection between students are non-existent.
There is a continuity of knowledge about each student in a K-8 school. Chandler Lower School faculty know the Middle School students. Faculty and students are in close proximity to each other. We have a long-term perspective. Thirty-one alumni families are currently enrolled. Multiple teachers in a K-8 school know each student. Faculty take a keen interest in their former students' progress long after they have left their classes. These factors make Chandler a strong community in which every child is known, and no child slips through the cracks.
A K-8 school gives time for students to discover who they are as learners, artists and athletes before they and their parents make informed decisions about high school. Children grow and change. Being the oldest on campus is good for younger adolescents before they start high school as 9th graders. As freshmen, they are lowest in the pecking order, a humbling experience for which they are well prepared after being buoyed by three years in Chandler's Middle School.