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Re: small schools

I'm glad to hear you had a positive experience with a small school.
I have had experiences with: a six-room public elementary school, and
slightly larger parochial schools. I also worked in an elementary school
where there were two grades per level. One teacher from there recently
retired. He had spent 32 or 34 years teaching the same grade in the same
room. I could never do that, but he seemed to thrive on it. Some people
need big schools and some need small ones.
I currently work in a brand new high school that just opened. It sits on
wooded bluffs and cornfields overlooking the Mississippi River. The
building has three floors, and each floor has three pods, which seem to give
it some of the qualities of a small school even though it is a 2000-student
The building is quite inspirational. The commons area has an open ceiling
that is three stories high. Lots of windows and glass. There is actually a
bridge that connects one part of the building to the other. When I walk in
the new school, I sometimes get the feeling of being in one of those big
cathedrals in Europe.
There is a certain amount of anonymity, but it's the price of a large
Staff connects through a weekly cable TV show. Next month the staff will
rent a riverboat and cruise the Mississippi and St. Croix rivers to view the
fall colors and have dinner. We have those kinds of get togethers, but I
wouldn't characterize my workplace as family. Work is work, and it's not
family as you like to think of it.
It's the nicest school I've ever worked in. It is simply beautiful. I
would not want to work in a small school again, but I'm glad to hear you do.

From: Judi Hirsch <judih@OUSD.K12.CA.US>
Reply-To: Assessment Reform Network Mailing List <ARN-L@LISTS.CUA.EDU>
Subject: small schools
Date: Mon, 10 Sep 2001 19:42:55 -0700

Mike writes: "I have worked in small schools and in large schools. I
some things I agreed with in the article below. One problem I had in small
schools is I found them to be a bit boring, but that's just my opinion."
and I wanted to add my two cents.
I worked at a small k-12 school for 15 years and thought I had died and
to heaven. The parents and many other adults and other guests were always
around, the programs were varied and exciting, the age range was divine,
the kids and teachers were happy. We were like a big family and there were
none of the problems like isolation, fighting, drugs, etc., that can be
found at larger schools. Also, those who wanted to do sports were able to
play on teams from bigger schools, and when we had dances, others were

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