Class sizes at The Gregory School seem to be shrinking. Little by little, enrollment numbers have declined and the proper size continues to be debated.
Most people argue the school should be larger and attract more students, but some believe a small school with small class sizes is better. Therein lies the ultimate question.
In a small class, every student gets more individual attention from a teacher and more teaching tailored to their needs.
But a healthy student population is necessary to maintain the school’s viability as a business.
Plus, a small school can have a negative effect on your social life. This can be challenging for some students.
If you only have thirty people in your grade, it can be difficult to avoid people that you don’t get along with.
It can also be tough if you like to have a lot of friends, simply because there aren’t a lot of options.
Freshman Lee Costich agrees; he said, “To be honest, I think our class sizes are a little small. It’s great for education, because you are learning one on one with your teacher. But, for the social life, it’s not very good, because with the class sizes being so small, you don’t have a lot of friends.”
The negative social effects are particularly apparent outside of school. It certainly affects students’ activities on weekends and holidays.
Everyone knows that schools are the primary source of a student’s social life, and if your options are limited, it can affect what your life outside of school can be like.
While some students have more active friends than others, it can be a different experience for some students who either have few friends or whose friends rarely plan things to do on weekends.
In fact, some students will not have any social interactions; others will communicate digitally or meet up with friends from their former schools.
Now, this effect is important because social lives can also impact a student’s academic life. If you are more comfortable with who you are and what people think of you, it can make you feel better about yourself.
Feeling happy and less stressed is proved to improve academic performance.
There is no secret that The Gregory School is more socially limited than other schools. Many students decide to participate in extracurricular programs or team sports, but some of these activities have been cancelled recently due to a lack of student participation. These kinds of extracurricular programs can help students make friends as well as give them something social and productive to do.
Many students choose to do Mock Trial, where students who are interested in law or public speaking prepare an actual trial and compete against other Arizona schools. Freshman Lee Costich said Mock Trial helped him connect with other students. “I made a few friends, so that’s always on the plus side,” Costich said.
This year, there are thirty-three seniors graduating from TGS. There are also around thirty-five freshmen coming in next year, plus some new students will enter other grades.
Frankly, class numbers are too small in this school for social and budget reasons. I’m not complaining, but I think that there should be around fifty people per grade.
Fostering positive social interactions is possible, since the school can decide who comes here.
Next year, the administration expects there should be about the same enrollment numbers. Head of School Dr. Julie Sherrill said, “The good news is that our overall enrollment is not going down. There are some interesting changes at certain grade levels—both increases and decreases.”
No final information is available about the total number of students enrolled for next year at this time.
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