My youngest son was an exemplary student in elementary school. Teachers loved him; he had many friends. He entered grade 8 in an 8-12 school, and he sank fast and hard. Too big a school, too large an age gap to compete with. From a school of 400 to a school of 2,000. It was too much for him. We need to provide elementary, middle, and high school again, or what I had: elementary, junior high, and senior high. The age gap is just too much for some kids. Most will do fine, but the vulnerable will be influenced by older kids who bully the younger ones into doing things they don’t want to, in order to fit in.