Holy Spirit Elementary has 180 students in a world where most elementary schools have enrolment of 500 and up. This is its strength, writes Linda Stade, fostering greater student and parent engagement “and positive wellbeing in a way that a large school never could.”
Does school size matter: A social capital perspective is based on comprehensive research collected by reasearchers at Simon Fraser University.
How Big is a Small School?: A Review of the Literature on Absolute Secondary School Size by Dr. Stuart Grauer. “We eventually found that true small schools delivered better results in academics, safety and connectedness when compared to their larger counterparts, but only after we answered the key question: how big is a small school?”
This study by Think New Mexico found that small schools tend to have higher graduation rates and higher student achievement – especially for low-income students – as well as less violence, more per capita extracurricular opportunities and greater satisfaction among students, teachers, principals and parents.
“There is mounting evidence that the impersonal environment of the mega-school inhibits the basic function of the school; that is, giving kids the best education possible,” says this article published by the National Association of Realtors.
This article appeared in the journal Education Canada in 2007 entitled “Cohesive Communities, Improved Outcomes: The Case for Small Schools.” It was written by academics at the University of Victoria and Simon Fraser University, and represents a Canadian take on much of the recent American research you might have seen.
Information about the benefits of small schools from the American Association of School Administrators.
A comprehensive library of academic papers and planning documents relating to schools and communities. Topics include the “dollars and sense” of small schools, the importance of walkable schools, and the true cost of increased busing.
Cohesive Communities, improved outcomes
Simon Fraser University research review:
Does School Size Matter? A Social Capital Perspective
Small Schools Workshop:
What is a small school?
Coalition of Smaller Preparatory Schools:
White Paper: Smaller Schools, Very Big Gains
BC Education Coalition: