There are several benefits to smaller class sizes. At Dehesa, each student belongs to a supportive community that prioritizes their success. This why the school maintains an average class size of 15 students for every 1 teacher, with an instructional assistant for a portion of the day. By keeping classes small, students can take advantage of many opportunities:
More one-on-one time with the teacher
In small classes, teachers have more time to learn about their students more closely and build a strong relationship that can lead to trust and mutual respect. When a student feels comfortable with their teacher, they are more likely to pay attention in class and not hesitate to ask for help when they are struggling in class. When students know that teachers are invested in their education, they tend to be more engaged in class and increase their academic performance.
Increased academic performance
Research shows that students in smaller classes perform better in all subjects and standardized assessments compared to students in larger classes. This is due to a number of factors, including more individualized instruction, decreased disruptions, more one-on-one time with the teacher, and extra time to review essential content. In smaller classes, students have the opportunity to learn each topic more fully and thoroughly, which results in higher test scores.
More differentiated instruction
Less student per class means teachers have a greater amount of time to individualize their lesson and feedback to meet the unique needs of each student. In smaller classes, teachers are able to get to know students more intimately and accommodate instructions according to different learning styles, disabilities and preferences. This ensures students understands the material being taught, gets the help they need, and are reaching their potential in a class that contains diverse learners.
Higher student engagement
In smaller classes, students have the time and opportunity to build better relationships with their teacher and peers, making them more likely to participate in class. Students who feel safe and comfortable with their learning environment are more attentive, more responsive and display less disruptive behavior during class. By decreasing class sizes, teachers have a greater opportunity to create an environment that focuses more on participation and instruction rather than discipline or distractions from disengaged students.
About the Dehesa School District
Founded in April 5,1876, the Dehesa School District is one of the oldest school districts in San Diego County. It serves students from kindergarten to 8th grade and consists of a single school located in the eastern part of the county. The district provides each student with an equal opportunity to excel academically and acquire the skills necessary to succeed beyond the classroom. Dehesa School is governed by a five-member school board and the Superintendent, Nancy Hauer.