|Building a Smaller School|
Location of Small Schools for Study
Advocates from a number of local government and school boards have adopted the small school model with great success.
Chicago's Small Schools
As part of the part of the Chicago Board of Education's 1995 initiative for small schools, for example, the school board funded 24 of 87 proposals for small schools. Klonsky says that studies show that all but one currently out perform large schools, and that one has continued the traditional assembly line structure and isolation of teachers.
In fact, Chicago's small schools have met with such success that, in an attempt to turn schools around, every high school in Chicago now has academies or schools within schools without selective enrollment.
Most notable, the Chicago Vocational School, with a 100% minority population, was turned around by principal Betty Green who divided the school into seven small schools and reduced total enrollment from 4200 to 3,000. Although her faculty was at first reluctant, under her capable leadership, CVS thrived and was eventually selected by the US Dept. of Education as one of the five showcase "New Urban Schools."
Around the nation, you can find districts embracing the small school notion. Continued reluctance of certain school districts to create small schools despite the many unsafe conditions created by large schools are likely to provoke advocates into using charters to create small schools.
Additional Methods of Building
Supporting Relationships in Schools
In addition to keeping school enrollments small, the following methods are often used to help build supporting relationships in schools.
Peer Mentoring Programs
Student Volunteer Programs
Volunteer Mentoring Programs
Although each of these methods has met with success, none measures up to that of the small school, our best chance to rescuing our children.
Resources about Small Schools
Curtailing Violence: Making Schools Smaller