What are the benefits of attending a small school?

06/ 27/ 2017

A small school allows for every member of the community to be seen, known and loved. That’s the essence of everyone working together to learn, to sometimes struggle and to delve deep into scholarship, the arts and living a healthy lifestyle. Small schools have the advantage of a tight-knit community that provides a safe platform for students to experiment and grow. Holderness School is a small high school with 280 students. It, like other schools under 400 students, is a place where students know each other by name and faculty/staff have knowledge of each student as well as primary experiences in the classroom, on the athletic field, at dinner, during an outing, or as an advisee. 

SpringCampus201614.jpgIn terms of numbers, what does small mean
  • Faculty/staff ratio is 6:1
  • Dorms are in living quarters of 8 students each
  • The headmaster knows each student by name and interests
  • Dinner is in tables of 8
  • Class size varies from 2 to 12

There has been some research on school size. A two-year study done on 150 small schools in Chicago during the 1990s found that small schools, especially small high schools (less than 400 students), help students succeed. The size allows for a reduction in anonymity. Students take more responsibility for themselves, their learning and their behavior because they know others are paying attention. They can be seen. Some of the benefits of a small boarding school community include:

  • Increased engagement in the life of the school
  • Greater liklihood of graduating
  • Improved classroom attendance
  • Higher achievement as determined by grade point average
  • Greater expectations -- teachers expect more because they know and see more
  • More individualized attention
  • Enhanced teacher satisfaction and more opportunities for ongoing professional development
  • Student works is evaluated carefully; assessments are created thoughtfully
  • Variety of one-on-one contacts inside and outside of the classroom with peers, teachers, coaches, advisers and administrators
  • Safe place to explore, stretch and grow
  • More opportunities for tailoring your educational experience to suit you
  • Community matters and you matter
A small boarding school experience for high school might make the greatest difference in your educational journey. 

Interested in learning more about a small boarding school where you will be seen, known and loved?