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Creating Small Schools

Creating Small Schools
A Handbook for Raising Equity and Achievement

May 2007 | 248 pages | Corwin

"A terrific manual for small schools or conversion efforts. Provides a logical road map and tools, and shows educators how to lead groups and engage the community in the rebuilding effort."
—Sue Showers, Educational Consultant

Bigger is not necessarily better.

While current research shows that comprehensive high schools remain the norm, effective small-scale high schools feature lower student-to-teacher ratios, longer instructional blocks, more parent involvement, and increased advisory and student support. The resulting instructional benefits include reduced dropout rates, increased attendance, higher student achievement, and fewer discipline problems.

Based on the authors' work at the nationally renowned Center for Collaborative Education, Creating Small Schools presents an A–to–Z guide for developing small school communities that personalize the educational experience for all students, helping them form lasting bonds with faculty and ultimately increasing their chances of going to college.

Success for students and schools depends on small class size, unifying vision, autonomy, and accountability. This research-based guidebook offers school leaders:

  • Ways to establish new schools or convert existing ones
  • Step-by-step instructions for developing a small schools plan
  • Lessons, case studies, practical tools, advice, and vignettes
  • Guidance for forging partnerships with district administration and the community

Discover how small schools can effectively reach and motivate underserved learners, and watch as achievement levels rise for all students.

About the Authors
Part I. Creating Small Schools
1. Introduction: Key Components of Successful Small Schools
2. Launching Small Schools in a Community
3. Converting Large Schools to Small
4. Building Partnerships to Sustain Small Schools
Part II. Learning and Achievement in Each Small School
5. Teaching, Learning, and Assessment for High Achievement for All Learners
6. Restructuring the School for Personalization
7. Building a Culture of Adult Learning and Collaboration
8. The Practice of a Collaborative Culture
9. Conclusion
Key features
  • A-Z guide to creating a small high school
  • Authors have years of successful experience working with individual schools and groups of schools, taking them through the entire process
  • Manual has already been field-tested by dozens of schools going through the process
  • Full of short case examples of schools that have successfully navigated the process
  • Hands-on tools and resources

Sample Materials & Chapters


Chapter 1

For instructors

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