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Dwight D. Eisenhower Elementary on Track to Become a K-8 School

Dwight D. Eisenhower Elementary on Track to Become a K-8 School  

Posted on 1/10/2023

Starting with the 2023-2024 school year, Dwight D. Eisenhower Elementary School will extend into middle school beginning with sixth grade, and then add a grade each year until it becomes a full K-8 school in the 2025-2026 school year. By that time, the school will be known as Dwight D. Eisenhower K-8.

The transition to K-8 is not a boundary change, as the school will not have in-boundary students assigned to its campus. Its middle school option will be 100% Choice-based. Every student who wishes to attend for grades 6-8 must apply through the Choice Program application process.

The middle school Choice Program will build on the K-5 Choice Program. The existing K-5 Environmental Science and Field Research Choice Program offers students the opportunity to explore and evaluate the many challenges and concerns related to the environment, including gopher tortoise preservation, ecosystem restoration, and more.

With the new 6-8 Environmental Science and Technology Choice Program, students will learn to use various technologies as educational tools to develop environmental science-based academic projects, presentations, learning activities, and assessments. Students will use technology to explore, evaluate, and communicate environmental issues. Eighth grade students in the program can earn a Technology Industry Certification.

“The IT Industry Certification is a project-based curriculum for students in middle school that is researched, developed, and approved by the State,” said Dr. Debbie Battles, the school’s Principal. “It is used in a variety of schools across the County. This certification provides a proven pathway to early high school credit as well as preparation for other career-readiness and technology programs.”

The school’s journey to K-8 began in 2017 when leadership and staff noticed the need for a relevant program of student interest. After brainstorming and collaboration among stakeholders (including staff, students, parents, community members and various generous funders), it was decided that a focus on Environmental Science would be a vehicle to provide the learning environment and opportunities envisioned for the students. 

“We were fortunate to receive District approval and partner with funders who shared our vision,” Battles said.

The school’s vision of developing the whole child became a reality with the generous support from the Mary and Robert Pew Public Education Fund and Ventus Charitable Foundation. Through those grants, the campus transformed into an Environmental Science and Field Research Choice School with hands-on, engaging opportunities. Students have taken the lead in projects such as rebuilding and maintaining garden beds, and the design and development of a gopher tortoise preserve.

Students also enjoy outdoor learning under the chickee hut. Marine science instruction is enhanced by the large fish tanks representing three different ecosystems and the invertebrate touch tank. The instrumental strings program rounds out this all-encompassing approach to learning.

“There is a plethora of research that supports positive ecological, economic, and societal impacts of conservation, restoration, preservation, and sustainability practices,” Battles said. “Offering an Environmental Science and Technology choice program in grades 6-8 further develops Environmental Stewardship in these areas.”

Read the school’s brochure for more information about its Choice Programs.

Visit the school’s Choice Program website for additional details.

Elementary Students