The strengths inherent in small schools clearly support characteristics and practices associated with findings emanating from "effective schools" research. The challenge facing administrators, teachers, parents, and students attending small schools is to capitalize on many advantages of smallness in order to provide the most meaningful education possible. Not shut it down.
It is important that our kids aren't lost in a sea of hundreds and hundreds of students, that there is a more individualized attention to our children and that there is a sense of community. A small school makes it more difficult for our children to fall through the cracks - and the cracks are much smaller.
If consolidation is going to try to be sold as a long-term, statewide cost cutting measure, it is necessary for policy makers to consider the other side of the equation. The children.