Eighth graders take math classes alongside high schoolers

Audrey Jayne

Audrey Jayne

Some eighth graders believe that the advanced math is beneficial, while some parents disagree.

High school consists of freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors. And – eighth graders?

Eighth grader Anvi Krishnardula is one of several students who comes from Lakeview Jr. High School to take math class at DGS. In past years, Lakeview has taught a small group of advanced math students in their own class in the middle school. This year, students in advanced math are sent to DGS instead, following the practice of other middle schools in the area.

Krishnardula was surprised to learn that she would be taking math class at DGS.

“I was kind of shocked because it’s high school,” Krishnardula said.

Entering high school as an eighth grader is an inherently different DGS experience, but many students were happy to learn they would come to DGS to take math class. One of those students was eighth grader Robert Ciocan.

“I was excited, because instead of staying in a room with five people I get to see the high school early on,” Ciocan said.

He feels that coming to DGS early gives him an advantage, both in middle school and for his future.

“It’s affecting my work ethic. In middle school, the standards are lower than high school, so all the work at Lakeview is becoming easier because of the workload coming from math here,” Ciocan said.

Parents, however, have mixed opinions on the subject. Maria Conyer, whose son, Joseph Conyer, attends DGS for math, wishes things could have been different.

“It is not what I would have chosen for my son. I would have preferred that he would be able to take the same class at his junior high. I feel that he should be allowed to be an eighth grader no matter how good he is at math. It puts additional pressure on students before they are in high school,” Maria Conyer said.

Carmen Ciocan, the parent of Robert Ciocan, disagrees.

“This is a great start in preparing kids for high school. Kids like Robert thrive in being challenged so this program is very beneficial for them not just academically but helps them develop stronger social and emotional skills as well,” Carmen Ciocan said.

One of the biggest obstacles eighth graders have to deal with is DGS’s partial block schedule. DGS follows a schedule where students go to all eight classes on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday, but on Wednesday and Thursday only go to four longer class periods. This often conflicts with middle school schedules, and students say it took some time to get used to.

Eighth graders speak on how the new block schedule affects them.

“I [was confused] at the beginning. I was so confused. But then you get used to it,” Krishnardula said.

“It’s different. But it’s not necessarily bad, because Thursday we don’t have math at all, which is kind of nice,” Joseph Conyer said.

“We missed about ten minutes of our second period. Other days, we have about 15 minutes before our second period. And our first period, we just sit in the library and do work, which is actually really nice,” Robert Ciocan said.

On the other hand, the introduction of the block schedule is another of Maria Conyer’s concerns.

“The times don’t match up so the eighth graders have to miss some of their class at the junior high. The two schools have different days off and different days when their schedules are modified. The eighth graders are also not able to participate in before-school activities at the junior high like choir, intramurals, leadership, etc,” Maria Conyer said.

Despite these issues, the eighth graders view coming to DGS as an opportunity that can prepare them positively for the future.

“I feel like it’s making me more mature, being around older people,” Robert Ciocan said.

“I know what I’m going to be expecting next year, so I know how to act this year. I can learn to balance different things and get a glimpse of what life is going to be like here at DGS,” Krishnardula said.