Compared to other similar districts, City Schools has a larger percentage of small schools. These schools have benefits, but they also come with challenges:
- It’s harder to organize a wide range of programs in schools with small numbers of students
- With less flexibility in staffing, it’s harder to organize resources effectively to support instructional interventions for small groups of students
- Fewer students may mean too few students for two classes at a grade level, leading to larger than average single class sizes, or to a need to combine grade levels in a single class
- Teacher leadership is limited by the relative lack of teams to share content
- Teachers must have a wider range of expertise
- Administrative and operations costs are spread over fewer students, a challenge in City Schools’ student-based funding model
Baltimore City public schools with fewer than 350 students cost about $940 more per student (on average) than the district’s larger schools. For City Schools, this difference equals an investment of approximately $13.4 million.
At the same time, City Schools has a higher number of small schools than other comparable districts.