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June 25, 2008


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Personally, I went to a small school in rural Western NY. There were 69 students in my graduating class, and I could put names with faces for just about all of them. I also had friends in several of the other grades, based on shared interest. I think it was a good experience.

Philosophically, I also prefer smaller schools (actually, smaller school districts), because the bigger they get, the harder it is for any one parent or community of parents to have a say in their own kids' education. Not to mention, the role a school plays in shaping community beyond its own walls works best when it's more localized. If it's in *our* neighborhood, it's more likely to be seen as *our* school than if it's across town somewhere.


Following experience with several private schools, and the HCPSS I found that small class size benefits particular children, but not all children.

Some measurements that can be universally applied regardless of the particular child's needs:

- Other Parents (involved, culture, etc..)
- Programs (a good program can offset many teaching inadequacies)
- Teachers (a good teacher can offset a bad program but is not as systematically mandated)
- Facilities (one example is that open classrooms tend to have a constant roar allday such that you cannot hear the child sitting right next to you)


To be fair, Bushy Park doesn't work in your example. Yes, the building is new (having just completed its second year) however, previous to that, they crammed 700 students in a 30 year old building built for only 440, making it the most overcrowded elementary school in the county for a few years.

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