As described by the National Education Association, in a small school learning environment, instructors are able to cater to the needs of each individual in his or her classroom. For example, say a student attending a school with a limited number of students isn’t understanding an English lesson. He or she, along with other students, is able to have one-on-one time with the teacher. Class sizes at New Haven High School sometimes have a total of eight, or even less, students, which benefits the students and allows the teacher to focus on actually teaching, instead of babysitting high schoolers.
Furthermore, a KnowledgeWorks report states, “There is less violence in small schools, less vandalism, a heightened sense of belonging, and better attendance. Students earn higher grade point averages, and more participate in extracurricular activities.” This is just proof that small schools offer many advantages to the students attending them.
Of course, schools with a smallerstudent population are more helpful to high schoolers, but there are a few drawbacks that can be easily solved. A disadvantage that comes to mind when some people are looking at small school is that kids attending a small school have less opportunities. This is a common misconception that many students even here at New Haven have proven wrong. There has been an abundance of students in the past several years that have received academic and athletic scholarships. Somerecent examples are Seth Schenck, Rachel Steinhoff, and Julie Scheer.
Despite the fact small schools have less athletics and clubs to offer for their students, they still seem to be extremely successful in their activities. According to an article on Education.com, this is because at smaller schools, almost every student has to participate in a project in order for it to be successful. The article commented, “This promotes among students a sense of belonging, of pride in their community, their school, and themselves.” New Haven High School has an example of this with FBLA; for example, in just a couple of weeks, there are twenty-one members who are going to FBLA State.
Even though small schools may have downsides, the positives outweigh the minimal negative aspects. Before having a negative outlook on your local tiny school, just remember, bigger isn’t really better.
-by Paige Adams