During the last few years, I have read countless articles on the benefits of small schools vs. larger counterparts. I have also spent a considerable amount of time discussing this topic with Heads of School throughout the Midwest region due to our affiliation with the Independent Schools of the Central States (ISACS). While I’m fascinated by the similarities of both environments, I’m equally intrigued by the differences.
Most recently I have been reading the works of Dr. Stuart Grauer who is a teacher, the founding Head of School at The Grauer School, and Founder of The Small Schools Coalition. He has studied small schools extensively from many different perspectives for several years. Dr. Grauer wrote an article in the Washington Post in January 2002 and stated “Smaller, more intimate learning communities consistently deliver better results in academics and discipline when compared to their larger counterparts. Big schools offer few opportunities to participate.”
I bring this up because of our Winter Show last night. As I gazed at the crowd of very proud parents, grandparents and guests, it donned on me that I have had an authentic conversation with a vast number of people in the audience…not a surface conversation but one that lends to getting to know you on a personal level and not just as a parent or grandparent. It also occurred to me that most of my colleagues in larger schools don’t have these same experiences due to the sheer size of their schools.
As I watched our children perform, one of our Junior Kindergarteners sitting next to me began to nudge closer and closer, until he was propping up his head with one arm on my lap. He would intermittently look up at me and smile and make quiet comments about the other children performing…how well they sang, how he liked the song and how proud he was of his buddy on stage. As the Head of School, working in our environment truly provides opportunities for me to know your children inside and out. It also provides opportunities for your children to get to know me and understand it’s just fine to prop one’s self up on my lap while enjoying a fabulous winter show. This is why I work in independent education, and this is why I am at Rohan Woods.
Thank you all for making our holiday memories so special.