When small schools come with big advantages

November 23, 2022

One size may not fit all, but a small school can undoubtedly offer many significant advantages to students, especially young teenagers. Being a teen in high school has its challenges and can be stressful for some. They are at the stage of their life where the academic study is more demanding, and they must deal with physical and emotional growth. This is the time when they need our guidance more than before, but it is also the time when communication between them and adults becomes less. This is also the time when the character building takes place.   

The breakdown of communication and support will not happen when the schooling experience is more personalized to the need of an individual and where the student is not known as numbers but as an individual. Therefore, being in a place where your personal needs matter and where school experience goes beyond academic achievement can make much difference. A small school can offer this kind of support. 

What research has found about small schools.

According to the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory in Portland, Oregon, “School Size, School Climate and the Student Performance” by Kathleen Cotton. Hundreds of studies have shown that students who attend small schools outperform those in large schools on every academic measure, from grade to test scores. 

The teaching approach can be more flexible and suitable to the real needs of the students. As a result, small schools more often apply innovative teaching methods, such as team teaching, integrated curriculum, and multi-age grouping, all of which have been shown to improve student achievement. The key findings are impressive. 

  • Levels of extracurricular participation are higher and more varied in small schools, and students in small schools gain greater satisfaction from participation. 
  • Students’ confidence and academic self-concepts are higher in small schools. 
  • Small schools experience significantly fewer discipline problems and less truancy, violence, substance abuse, and bullying. 
  • Students have a greater sense of belonging in small schools than in large ones. 
  • Student academic and general self-regard is higher in small schools than in large ones. 
  • Interpersonal relations between and among students, teachers, and administrators are more positive in small schools than in large ones.
  • Students from small and large high schools perform comparably on college-related variables such as entrance examination scores, acceptance rates, attendance, grade point average, and completion. 
  • Teacher attitudes toward their work and administrators are more positive in small schools than in large ones. 
  • Small schools have a higher rate of parental involvement.
  • Despite the common belief that larger schools have higher quality curricula than small schools, no reliable relationship exists between school size and curriculum quality. Even a small school can offer a curriculum that compares in breadth and depth to that provided in larger settings.
  • During the Covid Pandemic, the small school and our caring community proved to be able to offer a more effective quality of teaching that only small size schools can do. The benefits of being small are even more obvious to the community.

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