02 July, 2009

super school?

At the moment, J and I are faced with the possibility of Chickie's school closing and his (as well as a few other schools) combining to make a 'super school' located at the local high school around the corner. I have mixed feelings about this really.

On one hand there'll be newer, better facilities and the opportunity to do stuff his current school can't offer (eg: his current school really has nothing in the way of music/drama options) - not to mention that numbers are shrinking all over the area so funding for maintenance is barely keeping up.

On the other hand, I think Chickie's temperament suits a smaller school - I wonder how he'd manage with a really large school. I also wonder if having all the kids together means earlier exposure to things that he wouldn't normally see until he actually gets to high school (smoking for example). Not that he hasn't been exposed to smoking already but, as far as I know, he's only seen adults smoke (or am I being naive here?).

Then there's the traffic problem. The high school is around the corner and where my street is, is quite close to the traffic lights to get onto a main road here. This means its normally an absolute nightmare to get in and out of that end of the street between 3-4pm now - having the 'super school' up the road will only make it worse I'm sure (there isn't a lot of choice with main road access in this area). At least I can get home via the other end of the street - but it means driving through a bit of a maze to get there.

We had to put in a vote on whether we were interested in going ahead and it looks like the vote was in favour. At the meetings about it, they said if we do vote yes, then it will probably be 2-3 years before it starts to happen.

Has anyone had any experience with these 'super schools'? Can you pass on any thoughts or impressions you've gathered? This is one of those times I really wish I could see the future!


Anonymous said...

Some of our local (Brisbane) schools are transitioning to an amalgamated school at the end of next year.
My kids go to a larger school which will remain as is (with more facilities) but I have done a teaching prac at one of the small schools that is amalgamating.
Thre's plusses and minuses I think.... but teh plusses should win as far as education and kids go.
At the "small" school (~80 students) there is a Very High proportion of special needs kids in each class (there are only 4 classes) but the over all lower number of children means that they don't have the same acces to support teachers as in my kids (much larger) school.
But kids can get a little lost in the larger system depending on teh school ... but we haven't found that with my kids school as the teachers really do get to know all the kids in each grade (~70 - 100 per year level).
Between the two schools, I haven't noticed an increase in activities (like smoking etc) at teh bigger school because there are so many more eyes watching out for sts behaviour .... the small school had only 4 teachers which means playground duty can be difficult to balance.

hope the larger school works out for you.

PS - thanks for dropping by my blog today :)

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