Our elementary school in Georgia was around 1,000 kids. When I went to the same school as a child it was about that same size. I never thought that it was too big. They had the kindergartners in one area and the fifth graders far away. They were never together in the lunch room or on the playground. The children arrived and dismissed in an orderly manner and there were always plenty of teachers on hand to help. The teachers and staff were friendly and you got to know them all. I always felt like it was a warm environment even though it was bigger than some small colleges.
I felt that because of the size, the school would have any resource that my children or other children might need. Some of the smaller schools didn’t have science, math or writing specialists the way our school did.
The school here that both kids attended last year is about the same size as our school in Georgia. I wasn’t afraid of the school because we had been at one that size. However, it feels bigger. Maybe it’s because I didn’t go there as a kid and we haven’t been there as long? I’m trying to figure out if the feeling is just comfort level or truly a reflection of the size of the school.
Now Walsh is in a different school, and it is almost half the size. You can feel that there are hundreds of less students. It feels calmer in the mornings when I drop off.
I’m still trying to figure out though if there are fewer resources at the smaller school or if you just get the benefits of there being fewer kids.
I am wondering if it doesn’t matter if it’s big or small, it just depends on the leadership and organization. Can a big school feel small depending on who is the principal?
So what have your experiences been with schools with more students and schools with less students?
What is too big for elementary school? Middle school? High school? (Parkview is so much bigger now that is was when I was there. I do think that would be scary.)
Have you found that smaller schools offer less services to their students or does it just make it more personal and they have a chance to get to know the students better?
If you could choose a big or small school, which would you choose?