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Thread summary:

Seeking opinions on why parents do not want their child to go to a large high school, large high schools mean more opportunities to make friends, class sizes not always smaller

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Old 05-28-2008, 02:43 PM
 
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Why do parents have problem with their student(s) going to an overcrowded school? Especially high schools. A high school with 2,000 students is better than a high school with 700-800 students because big schools gives the student many opportunities to make more friends and find the right group to hang out with.
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Old 05-28-2008, 03:04 PM
 
Location: Alaska
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The number of students in a school is not the problem, it's the class size that matters. Many people think that a school with 700-800 students means fewer students in each classroom. This usually isn't the case. My city is in the process of building a second high school. It was basically sold on the misconception that the student-teacher ratio would decrease with two schools. The school district and board, while not lying, have failed to correct this in any decent manner. Anyone who pays attention realizes that the number of teachers is not increasing because of the two school and in fact has a chance to decrease because of the two high schools (the district stated that they don't believe this will happen but won't guarantee it).

Anyway, I digress. The reason is because of the belief there will smaller class sizes in a smaller school.
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Old 05-28-2008, 03:31 PM
 
Location: S. New Hampshire
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I went to a HS with 5000 students. I don't know if I really needed that many people in order to find my handful of great friends, but here are the pluses:

1) We had a kick-@ss music program. Full-sized orchestra, marching band, concert band, and choir. I taught orchestra in a school with less than 200 students, and I'll tell you, the more kids you have in the school, the more likely you'll have full-sized performing arts programs of high quality, just based on stats.

2) We had a ton of different ethnic clubs, and they were pretty full. As a result, our International Days festival, which lasted 2 days, was a huge event.

3) Our athletic program was pretty strong too. Again, you need the critical mass in order to get enough of the ones that excel.

Lest anyone get the idea that academics wasn't a focus, this was one of the top HS in Chicago, you had to submit your test scores to apply. Every year, about 1400 freshman enrolled, and by the time I graduated my class had 986 students. So it wasn't exactly a walk in the park, although I'll grant that some gifted programs in other schools (I.B) were probably higher achieving.

Our typical class size was about 30.

Oh, one more thing I noticed. There's a niche for everyone. Doesn't matter if you're a jock, a geek, a punk, goth, or just average. You'll find your crowd.
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Old 05-28-2008, 04:51 PM
 
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There are positives and negatives. I have worked at a school with 3500 kids and class size is not an issue, that is a state mandated thing. You could have a million kids in your school and the class size would be whatever the state determines. You could have a school of 200 and have the same number of kids in a class. Again, non issue.

The positives far outweigh the negatives I would say and for many of the reason that PP has indicated, better music programs, better academic programs, more school spirit. Bigger schools are going to have more things, more class options, etc.

The big negative that I see is the competition for athletics and other audition or try-out things such as the play, etc. If you are a school of 3500, your football team fields the same number of players as the school with 500 students, think about it that way. The same thing with the play, same number of cast members.

But, I also think that is the real world, you do not make everything and it is a good lesson to learn. It also forces kids to really do what they are good at and I like that. I once had a student who transferred from a small school where he was a star baseball player. He did not make the team at my school BUT he then discovered what a great artist he was and pursued that. Now, he is in college and doing well and pursuing that dream.

There are positives and negatives as I have said but class size is a non issue.
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Old 05-29-2008, 05:06 AM
 
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When I think "overcrowded," I think "too many students for the building/staff." If kids have to share a locker because there are not enough for the numnber of students, that's a problem. If kids can't get into the classes they need/want because (for example) only 25 kids can take Latin 1 (or photography, or AP Calculus, or what have you), the teacher only has time to teach one period of that particular course, and 45 kids want to take it so 20 kids must pick something else, then that's a problem.

A large building with adequate staff would not be overcrowded with 5000 students. A school built for 2500 students would be overcrowded with those same 5000 kids.

My high school had 1,000 kids, and I thought it was a good size... small enough that all of the faces were familiar, but large enough to find other kids who you were compatible with, for the most part.
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Old 05-29-2008, 12:33 PM
 
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First of all, kids are not in school with the goal of making friends and "hanging out". They are there to get an education.

It does not matter about the size of the school but rather the teacher to student ratio. But over the years larger schools have ebcome victims of poor fund managment and teachers have been cut to make up for budget shortfalls. So many large schools have huge student to teacher ratios. This makes for a poor academic environment.

Also it depends on the area, the large schools in many areas are associated with a higher crime rate so parents do not want their kids going there.

I went from a school with a about 2000 people to one with 300. The smaller one was much better as there was not tons of people competing for the same positions on things like athletics and computers (back when computers were first coming into play there was only one computer class/lab).
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Old 05-29-2008, 12:40 PM
 
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my HS had a total of between 1500-2000 kids. everyone "knew" everyone. at least by face and which grade they were in. we also had lots of programs.
i knew people from other schools who didnt even know who everyone was in their own class. that seemed amazing to me.
i d agree though, that it is the calss size that matters--teacher to student ratio. the fewer students, the more one on one teaching can happen and the kids are less likely to slip by without learning anything.
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Old 05-29-2008, 12:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k350 View Post
F
It does not matter about the size of the school but rather the teacher to student ratio. But over the years larger schools have ebcome victims of poor fund managment and teachers have been cut to make up for budget shortfalls. So many large schools have huge student to teacher ratios. This makes for a poor academic environment.

Also it depends on the area, the large schools in many areas are associated with a higher crime rate so parents do not want their kids going there.
Teacher/student ratio is determined at the state level (at least it was in all the states I have worked in) so the number of students in a particular school will have nothing to do with what the teacher/student ratio is. The schools are staffed according to enrollment, # of teachers based on # of students. In the secondary schools, most of the staffing is done based on how many kids are going to take certain classes. For example, if you are going to have 300 kids take Algebra I, that is roughly 10 sections of the course. One teacher can teach 6 sections, so they will need at least two. That is an example, but you get the point.

I have never heard the comparison of a large school to a high crime area? Do you have some citations for that fact? I am familiar with several very large schools and none are in high crime areas.
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Old 05-29-2008, 06:09 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by novanative75 View Post
Teacher/student ratio is determined at the state level (at least it was in all the states I have worked in) so the number of students in a particular school will have nothing to do with what the teacher/student ratio is. The schools are staffed according to enrollment, # of teachers based on # of students. In the secondary schools, most of the staffing is done based on how many kids are going to take certain classes. For example, if you are going to have 300 kids take Algebra I, that is roughly 10 sections of the course. One teacher can teach 6 sections, so they will need at least two. That is an example, but you get the point.

I have never heard the comparison of a large school to a high crime area? Do you have some citations for that fact? I am familiar with several very large schools and none are in high crime areas.
What does it matter at what level? I personally have been in a class with 45 people in it, many times with over 30. My step-sister who is currently in HS has a class with 60 people in it right now and many times she has 40 something people. But thank you for the explaination because it was so relevant to what I said.

Lets see, large schools are most often in urban areas which have higher crime on average than rural areas. I said the key word "associated", many people feel much safer living in suburbia and having thier kids go to school then living in a denser city having thier kid go to school. Now why would someone go through all that trouble and pay that money for the extra commute time and housing costs?

Besides, nothing you stated has anything to do with what I said. I answered the OP about why parents do not want thier kids to go to a large school, I answered. What part of the perceived notion I stated you do not understand?

Many people do not like lving in high density areas, many do not like the huge schools where everyone is a number, many like the idea of local neighborhood schools, not large centrally located ones, on and on.

So despite the little things you said and your opinion, fact is many do not want thier kids in a large school, many do not care, get over it, different strokes for different folks.

To add, I do not see why anyone would ever send their kid to a government indoctrination center, oops! I mean public school.
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Old 05-29-2008, 07:01 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k350 View Post
What does it matter at what level? I personally have been in a class with 45 people in it, many times with over 30. My step-sister who is currently in HS has a class with 60 people in it right now and many times she has 40 something people. But thank you for the explaination because it was so relevant to what I said.

Lets see, large schools are most often in urban areas which have higher crime on average than rural areas. I said the key word "associated", many people feel much safer living in suburbia and having thier kids go to school then living in a denser city having thier kid go to school. Now why would someone go through all that trouble and pay that money for the extra commute time and housing costs?

Besides, nothing you stated has anything to do with what I said. I answered the OP about why parents do not want thier kids to go to a large school, I answered. What part of the perceived notion I stated you do not understand?

Many people do not like lving in high density areas, many do not like the huge schools where everyone is a number, many like the idea of local neighborhood schools, not large centrally located ones, on and on.

So despite the little things you said and your opinion, fact is many do not want thier kids in a large school, many do not care, get over it, different strokes for different folks.

To add, I do not see why anyone would ever send their kid to a government indoctrination center, oops! I mean public school.
Well, your last statement says a lot about your opinions of public schools (to say the least) so not sure it is even worth discussing with you.

My point about class size ( and if you re-read my posts, you can see this) is that the size of the school does not really have anything to do with class size. Class caps are determined by the state. For example, in Virginia, most classes were capped at 30-32. No, that did not mean that those in smaller schools were enjoying classes of 15, it meant that ALL students were being taught in classes of 30-32 and that smaller schools had fewer teachers. If your step-sister has classes that large, it means that whatever state that is is not doing a good job of monitoring their schools OR (and I would think this is it) she is in a combined class with two teachers, often called a block class where they often combine for projects, etc.


Sooooo, my point was to the PP's that were equating larger schools with larger classes. There is really no relation.

As far as large schools in urban areas. Actually none of the large schools that I know of are in urban areas. They are in very affluent suburban areas. Again, I ask for your stats to your 'larger schools=urban areas=high crime' theory. Give us some stats, show us that most large schools are in high crime areas, because all of the large schools I know are in suburban areas. I most recently worked at a school of 3500, very affluent area, excellent programs and classes the same size as the school down the street of 1500 students.
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