School, Big Benefits
Alston thought he'd spend his freshman year at overcrowded Galileo
High School, but when he heard about the new school with just 100 students
opening at SFSU, he quickly applied.
"The classes are small and I get more attention from my teacher.
I know that if I was at a larger high school I wouldn't get that,"
said Alston, 14, who likes studying in the J. Paul Leonard Library and
conducting experiments in the science labs.
Directed by Nathan Avani, chair of Secondary Education, Small School for
Equity opened in August. The school is a partnership between the University
and the San Francisco Unified School District and joins a national trend
that finds more teens attending high school on college campuses. Supporters
point to research showing that students across all socioeconomic levels
excel when they are part of smaller, more intimate learning communities.
"I was losing my son in his last school—the teachers weren't
paying attention to him," said parent Lydia Spencer. "Being
in this school has given [him] confidence and self-esteem. … He's
interested in learning. He's taking part in studying. … He doesn't
want to miss a day of school."
Small School classes are held in Burk Hall. The school is funded and managed
by the school district. Teachers work closely with SFSU faculty on curriculum,
research and professional development.