Published On: Saturday, December 5, 2020|Categories: Learning Environment|

Some students thrive on getting lost in a crowd and being one of many. However, most will appreciate the advantages offered by a smaller school.

Benefits of a Small School

Students attending a smaller school will realize some fairly obvious benefits as well as those that are more intangible or unexpected.

Smaller Class Size

Predictably, a smaller school almost always translates to smaller class sizes. That can foster closer relationships between students and with teachers and staff, and can facilitate more individualized instruction. With our one-on-one approach at The Tenney School, we’ve put the focus on this key tool to student success and offer the ultimate in small class size with our one teacher per student Power of One approach.

Individualized Instruction

Smaller class size goes hand in hand with the opportunity to individualize and tailor instruction to a smaller group of students. Of course, at The Tenney School, individualized instruction is the name of the game.

Safety and Sense of Community

In a smaller school, every face you see is familiar. The time we all spend together, working closely, means we get to know each other well. That makes it easier to ensure everyone feels like they belong, and that no one is left out. Knowing every face and even whole families promote a natural safety on our school grounds when unfamiliar faces are easily spotted.

Better Relationships

When students, teachers, and administration form the community they do in a smaller school, the relationships between them are usually stronger and better. Teachers and administration become mentors and people to greet rather than faceless people in “the office”. Students will also generally make stronger friendships with their peers in a smaller school.

More Inter-Grade Interaction

Just because we focus on a one-to-one student-teacher ratio doesn’t mean students are at all isolated. In fact, the simplified logistics of smaller schools provide tremendous opportunities for students in different grades to interact, work, and learn together. Cross-grade social activities made easier in smaller schools can promote a better sense of community and empathy among students.

Better Performance

Studies have shown that students in smaller schools have higher attendance levels, and graduation rates can be up to 10% higher than in larger schools.

Less Bullying

Smaller schools where everyone knows everyone and students and teachers work closely together tend to discourage bullying and cliques.

More Opportunities to Participate

Because of their size, smaller schools usually mean that everyone gets a chance to join in and play a contributing role in groups and activities.

Questions to Ask When Considering a Smaller School

Deciding on a school that fits your family’s needs is an important one. Here are some questions to think about when you’re investigating smaller schools.

  • Attention – Does your child get enough attention from teachers and staff for effective learning?
  • Variety and Depth – Does your child’s school offer as much variety as your child wants? Does it offer as much depth? Smaller schools may not be able to offer as wide a variety but may be better able to provide opportunities to delve more deeply into topics of interest.
  • The pace of Learning – Does your child find the pace of learning to be too fast or slow? Smaller schools are better equipped to adjust the pace of classroom learning with smaller class sizes. At The Tenney School, our specialty is adjusting the pace of learning to match each student’s individual needs while ensuring they are learning necessary material.
  • Getting Lost – Does your child tend to be overlooked and fall through the cracks in a large school? That’s a sure sign that a smaller school may be a great fit.


All children have unique learning styles, so finding the school environment that suits them best is key to their success. If you think a smaller school may be a good fit for your child, contact us today to see how the Power of One at The Tenney School can help.

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