Is It Better To Go To a Small School?

Ava Cumiskey, staff writer

For a long time students have wondered why the middle and high school are combined into one large building. One simple answer is that there are not enough students to create two separate schools. The total student enrollment at NPHS in 2020 was 641. Compared to neighboring high schools like Chatham or Summit, that is about half of their enrollment. According to Tapinto New Providence, in the year 2021, there were 148 high school graduates at New Providence High School and 363 at Chatham High School. Students may see drawbacks to graduating with nearly 150 classmates, but there are many benefits to having a small class. 

The small number of students in our school is evident throughout sports, extracurricular activities, clubs, and more. This can be a detriment to populating teams and casts, however this gives people opportunities and a chance to get noticed. When trying out for a sports team, auditioning for the play, or applying to be president of a club, you are more likely to make the team, get the part, and become head of a club with fewer students in your school. Alternatively in a larger school, these opportunities are less likely to happen with more students taking part. 

There are many advantages in the classroom that come with attending a smaller school. With a smaller number of students per class, teachers may find it easier to teach their students one-on-one and make sure everyone is on the same page. Smaller classes tend to go through the content of the year much faster than a larger class. In fact, multiple studies conclude that students in smaller schools outperform those in larger schools, and are more likely to go to college. 

In a smaller school you have a higher chance of being top in your class, having a higher grade point average, and being an integral part to a club. All of these achievements look great on college resumes, and give you a better chance to go to a good school. 

Many students at NPHS have grown up with their classmates since elementary school, or even pre-K. Even if you have not always lived in New Providence, it is easy and quick to fit in. Almost everyone knows each other, and there is a strong connection between students at a small school. You can walk down the hallway and instantly recognize your peers. Students become more comfortable and confident with sharing ideas and discussing in the classroom. 

Connections between students become enhanced in small schools, and connections between teachers and students are more meaningful and impactful. At a large school, students may never have a good conversation with a teacher or get to experience one-on-one feedback from them. 

Having the ability to walk through the school and almost always recognize your peers, or being able to grasp certain concepts and ask questions to teachers one-on-one are what define the advantages of attending a small school.