Becky Zachmeier, the principal at Cowell Elementary in southwest Denver, knows where each child in her building is. She walks the halls all day, checking in on them and their progress. But she doesn’t always know whether they’ll be back the next day.
On a recent Friday afternoon, Zachmeier pulled a quiet fifth grader aside to ask him, “what’s happening tomorrow?” His family is moving, but he doesn’t yet know what school he’ll be in come Monday. If he moves, it will be his seventh school move in five years.
Research indicates that those moves could have major impacts on his success with everything from academics to behavior. And schools and school districts are increasingly making changes to mitigate the effects of frequent student moves, in part because of the potential impacts student mobility have on state accountability measures.