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Big Advantages of a Small School

Lisa Eekhoff| October 23, 2020

Choosing a school for your child is one of the most important decisions you will make as a parent. And in the ever-changing landscape of education today, it has become increasingly clear that bigger is not always better. Small schools hold distinct advantages that shape the educational experience of students to prepare them for success. A child’s academic, social, and even spiritual growth may be impacted by the number of students sitting in their classroom. 

Meaningful and Lasting Relationships

Small schools foster an environment that ensures no child is lost in the back of the classroom. A low teacher-to-student ratio creates space for teachers to truly understand each child in their care, both academically and personally. Students develop a deep sense of belonging as they form lasting bonds with both their classmates and teachers.

Beyond the walls of their classrooms, students regularly interact with children from all grade levels. This encourages them to build meaningful relationships with those outside of their own peer groups and provides opportunity for the development of servant leadership skills.

Daily connection with all members of the faculty means that each student’s needs are known and unique characteristics appreciated by teachers who will love them far longer than just the year spent in a particular grade. Students are surrounded by adults who know them for many years and who are deeply invested in their flourishing.

Strong Academics

“Our daughter transferred to Covenant from a public elementary school. The changes we saw in her upon arrival to Covenant were immediate. Within days of transferring to Covenant, our daughter was excited to attend school again.”  

“The changes we saw in her upon arrival to Covenant were immediate. Within days of transferring to Covenant, our daughter was excited to attend school again.”

Small schools are able to create a culture focused on strong academics. When social concerns are minimized, students can simply get on with the business of learning. 

Teachers of fewer students can calibrate and tailor instruction in such a way that provides challenge and support to those who need it. Hands-on and discovery-based learning is easily incorporated, and students of all learning styles are engaged in the process. At Covenant, our highly gifted team of faculty members shares one common mission and vision, increasing their effectiveness as a team overall.

More Robust Educational Opportunities

Small schools provide greater opportunities for unique educational experiences. They are often more nimble and therefore able to plan off-campus excursions with ease. For Covenant, this includes several field trips taken each year by all students to local sites and world-class museums in nearby Chicago. But it also extends much further into cross-country travel opportunities. Annual trips to cities like Springfield, Washington, DC, and Boston are invaluable for bringing history to life, and our ability to maximize their worth is bolstered by the smaller number of students attending. 

Authentic Partnership with Parents

Small schools are able to develop meaningful partnerships with parents in the education of their children. The parent community is made up of like-minded moms and dads who share common goals and values in line with the mission of the school. Parents are invited into greater involvement in the classroom and life of the school. Teachers and administrators can communicate frequently and work closely with parents, allowing challenges that arise to be solved quickly. All of this comes together to give parents a greater sense of ownership and investment in their child’s education.

Many parents have rediscovered the benefits of “thinking small” when it comes to the schooling of their children. Small schools provide a distinct educational environment that nurtures the whole child, enabling them to flourish in all aspects of life.

About the Author: Miss Eekhoff is the principal at Covenant Classical School in Naperville, IL.

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