Yet, I teach at the largest public high school in Oakland.
How is this possible? Let me explain. It's new, (we've only started this year w/ just the freshmen class) and I firmly believe in it's effectiveness. If you're a big school looking to rid yourselves of big school cons and replace them small school pros, consider this:
1. Our school has 2000+ students and 100+ teachers. Think: big school.Logistically, the setup requires extra extra attention. Extra summer hours were dedicated to stitching together a masterpiece of a master schedule. Extra beginning week time was dedicated to balancing each house. However, things are now set, wheels are now rolling, and what we have is the greatest sense of community I've ever felt at this school. We've cast a net so that no student falls between the cracks.
2. Within our school of 2000+ is a "house" of 600 freshmen and 24 teachers whose classrooms situate only one corner of our large campus. Think: school within a big school.
3. Within our house of 600 are 6 mini-houses of 100 freshmen who share the same 4 core teachers. Think: small school within a school within a big school.
4. Within our mini-house of 100 freshmen are 4 groups of 25 who are paired with 1 teacher who commits to their success. (Phone calls and emails home, check ins, personal attention, all of it). Think: family within a small school within a school within a big school.
Checking in with my students' other teachers is done with ease. Not only this, but what you've created is 4 sets of 6 teachers who all teach the exact same course load. Efforts to collaborate, share effective methods and lessons, create common assessments, etc are done with the same ease.
The geniuses who planned this restructuring did so masterfully. At least I think so. What do you think?