By Jenn Wright
If you’ve ever wanted to avoid a certain someone in the halls of SLA–whether it’s someone you just broke up with, or a friend turned enemy–good luck. Having only 500 students around makes that almost impossible. SLA loves appreciating the small community we have- but not all that glitters is gold.
Fewer students equals less empty space, which means many more hangout spots to avoid on a daily basis in order to steer clear of that certain someone. Sometimes, it seems like the universe is purposely putting you in the path the one person you’d rather avoid.
This isn’t the only drawback, though.
While students at SLA often have the initiative to start clubs and activities of their own, some clubs never get off the ground because of lack of support. With a small staff, finding a sponsor can be hard, but even more so is getting participation from students.
If a club averages at most, say, 8 members and 3 of them are busy during your meeting time, the change is noticeable. During a benchmark season with deadlines creeping closer, a lunchtime club doesn’t stand a chance.
As a co-leader of SLA Community Involvement Club (CIC), organized by Senior Sam Lovett-Perkins, we feel the impact of this. Being apart of the committee to plan this and other clubs, the best incentive to attract members to meetings is food.
In other ways, the small size of the school benefits students. This year’s C Band Calculus class with Math Teacher Brad Latimer only has 12 students–a rare opportunity for a lot of personalized attention. Rigor of the coursework aside, a small school population makes the odds for having small classes much higher.
On the flip side, fewer students means a smaller variety of courses offered, because our teachers can only teach so many a day. I am often envious of courses like Psychology or Cooking offered at high schools much larger than ours.
The staff, Principal Lehmann and all of us sacrifice many traditional things to participate in a school community like ours. We will never have a homecoming game or might not ever have a gym, but I like that I can name everyone in my grade.
Even so, eye contact would seldom have to be avoided if there was a mass of even one hundred more students to hide behind.