declines in schoolwork and extra-curricular activities when they stay in a K-8 school. Discipline problems and absences also are reduced. o Achievement – Research has shown that students do not experience the same academic declines when the middle school transition is eliminated. Stuck in the Middle: Impacts of Grade Configuration in Public Schools This seems to be a well-designed study, looking at student achievement over ten years for students in K-8 vs. elementary /middle schools (k-5 and 6-8 or k-6 and 7-8) in New York City. The study says the drop is not caused by funding or class size. The study says the cause is most likely the size of the grade cohort in the school, with the K-8 schools have about 75 students per grade and the middle schools having 200 students (or more per grade).Parents often praise the greater sense of community that they feel exists in K-8 schools, and several studies have noted the stronger relationships that seem to exist between students, between teachers, between students and teachers, and between parents and teachers in K-8 schools. That K-8 schools are often closer to home in terms of travel is also an aspect that parents appreciate, and that the schools are then even more of a local neighborhood school adds to their greater sense of community. In addition, parents also like that the longer grade span allows for families with several children to have siblings in the same school for longer periods of time.