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Old 03-25-2012, 09:17 PM
 
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One of the other threads talked about not seeing how a small k-8 school would give kids any advantages.

First off, let me say that I do see an advantage to having kids of many ages in a single school. Our age segregation today is, imo, one of the things that is wrong with how we bring up kids. While I never went to a one-room schoolhouse, that was the norm for a long time in this country and it encouraged children to get along with all ages although there was also bullying and teasing that went on.

When I was growing up, kids from 4 to 12 often played together in a group in the neighborhood to and that helped kids develop a sense of community. We also played without much supervision so we had to come up with our own rules and our own ideas.

Now this article is not about any of the above, but about the fact that small schools promote academic achievement better than large schools.

Small Schools vs. Big Schools | The New Rules Project

This article is from the year 2000, but it still seems relevant to me.

Jack and the Giant School | The New Rules Project

Quote:
Achievement: Small school students equal or outperform large school students. Indicators used include grades, test scores, honor roll enrollment, subject-area achievement, higher-order thinking skills and years of education attained after high school. In Nebraska, 73 percent of students in districts with fewer than 70 high school students enrolled in a post-secondary institution, compared to 64 percent of those in districts of 600 to 999 high school students. These findings hold even when other variables, such as student attributes or staff characteristics, are taken into account. Many small schools are in rural areas, but researchers have concluded that it is the smallness of the school, not its setting, that makes it successful.
Here's one from 2011

Big School? Small School? Does School Size Matter? | Psychology Today

Note that we liked my children's big high school because there were so many classes that they could offer that small schools could not, but my children were not intimidated by the atmosphere in their larger high school. I suspect it would depend a lot on the particular child. I don't like the large elementary school my grandchildren attend and do wish it was smaller. I find it academically satisfying, but it has problems in terms of its size.
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Old 03-25-2012, 09:27 PM
 
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In my experience working in both a small and big school. Small schools foster a greater sense of community and teamwork between teachers and students. Large schools may teach more reaourcefulness of some kids.

Unfortunately small schools tend to cost more to deliver the same services. So in this political climate moving towards smaller schools is just unlikely to happen.
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Old 03-26-2012, 06:17 AM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan and Sometimes Orange County CA
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Big schools tend to offer more varied classes, E.C.s and events. SMall schools offer more personalized attention and community. Which is better will alwys depend ont he individual student. We like small schools better. We like that all of the teachers know all of the students and almost all of the students know each other. We also like that our kids have the opportunity to shine in more than on thing. Kind of the big fish in a small pond thing. The possibility of being one of the best in several things, encourages them to try harder IMO, at least out kids. Whereas if they are lever gong to be one of the better players, performers, ect, they tend to just give up and coast.
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Old 03-26-2012, 07:10 AM
 
Location: southwestern PA... where the nest is now empty!
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Small schools tend to not offer the extracurriculars, sports and clubs that larger schools usually do. They also do not offer as many AP classes.
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Old 03-26-2012, 08:52 AM
 
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From the perspective of a teacher, I would be leery of small schools.

For one, administrators micromanage like crazy. Having far less to do, they essentially make up problems -- or if legitimate problems occur, they're dealt with as if they're overwhelmingly important. The phrase "making a mountain out of a molehill" jumps immediately to mind.

It can also be hostile to new teachers. For instance, a teacher of my acquaintance at a small school once reprimanded (...or would that be "yelled"? Wrong thread?) a student for wearing footgear that was obviously unsafe and not permitted by district dress code policy. The teacher was the one who was then reprimanded by administration because surely, he was overreacting. Didn't matter that he was right or that the safety of the student was certainly in question. As my students might say, they made a big thing of it -- and not to the teacher's advantage.
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Old 03-26-2012, 09:22 AM
 
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For us, a school district with only 6 schools worked very well. Our HS is pretty well funded and it offered two dozen AP classes, which is just the right number IMHO. The more AP's that are offered, the more one is expected to take so limiting that is not a bad idea. We picked our school district for it's size.
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Old 03-27-2012, 09:52 AM
 
Location: New York City
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If all things considered are equal then ideally a smaller school is better, IMO. It's mostly about the student not feeling like a number and instead feels "known" by many people. On the other hand, I think a smaller class size makes more of a difference than the size of the entire school. If the school is large, but the class sizes are small, children will have an advantage of those in a small school with large classes. Just my opinion, of course.
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Old 03-27-2012, 10:27 AM
Status: "60th anniversary of the polio vaccine! Hail to Pitt!" (set 9 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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If a small school is *too* small, and I don't have a number to put with that, the friendship opportunities for some kids decrease to almost zero at times. I'm thinking of my elementary school class, with 11 kids. Once the cliques kicked in, some of us were left out.

Even in college, a larger school means you can find like-minded people more easily. At least, that's what my daughter found to be one difference between the small college she first attended and the large state u she transferred to.
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Old 03-30-2012, 10:20 AM
 
Location: Viña del Mar, Chile
14,517 posts, read 13,035,600 times
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There's small schools that are way better than big schools and big schools that are way better than small schools. Both have advantages and disadvantages and it is a matter of finding the best fit for yourself. There's absolutely no point in this debate because everybody is going to have a different opinion.
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Old 03-30-2012, 04:33 PM
 
22,191 posts, read 13,002,469 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burgler09 View Post
There's absolutely no point in this debate because everybody is going to have a different opinion.
Ummm... Some of us are enjoying the exchange of ideas and opinions. If it doesn't interest you there are PLENTY of other threads. I always wonder about the person who tells someone else they shouldn't debate. Buy I digress....

Carry on.
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