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Thread: How Big Was Your High School?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    How Big Was Your High School?

    This Bear is doing some research (for my fake city) on the student population size of high schools. I have done a lot of bouncing around on the internet, looking through web sites from Boston to Los Angeles, from Miami to Houston, from Philadelphia to Minneapolis, etc.

    Some of these places have high schools with student populations in the 3000+ range. Now that's a big school!

    When I graduated from Whitmer High School (Toledo, OH) back in 1966, my graduation class was over six-hundred (600). Two (2) years later, my younger brother's graduation class was almost one-thousand (1000). (Can you say "baby boomer"?)

    Whitmer was a 3-grade building.....fed by two (2) Junior High Schools. Thus, Whitmer's 4-grade size when I graduated would be about 2500. In my research, there seem to be more 4-grade schools. In the stats that I have compiled for my fake city I think I have too many high school students and I plan on correcting my error.

    That adventure in research and stat correction got me to thinking.....how big was the high school that the average Cyburbian attended?

    What say you? How big was your school?

    Very-related: Studies indicate that smaller schools are better at educating. Is that your experience? Is that your view?

    What say you?

    Panther Bear
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
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    I think there were about 105 students in my HS graduating class.
    Annoyingly insensitive

  3. #3
          jhboyle's avatar
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    I graduated with 124 students

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
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    We had about 300 in my graduating class of 1987

  5. #5
    Cyburbian nerudite's avatar
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    Although I went to public school, I didn't go to a 'normal' high school. I went to a magnet school that taught 4th through 12th grade. I was there from 6 to 12th grade. The entire school is just shy of 1800 students, and is on an old junior high school campus. My graduating class had around 70 students. Despite the small size of the school, it is the largest magnet school in the Los Angeles Unified School District.

    Edit: I just checked my local high school where I grew up. If I went to Taft High in L.A., the student body would have been about 3500. Man, I would have been lost there!

  6. #6
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    I came from a smaller yet growing high school. When I was a freshman, there were 750 students. When I graduated, there was about 1300 students. I definitely think that these were good numbers. My school doubled in size both in enrollment and physical size (with additions). I felt very comfortable and knew everyone in my class of 200. I never felt lost or out of place, and I felt that I held my place firmly at my high school and was allowed to take advantage of plenty of opportunities. I think most high schools are good in the 500-1500 range...I think that's just about right. Anything bigger can make students feel out of place...just another face in the crowd if you will. Anything smaller may make students feel not able to take advantage of enough opportunities.

    I was also fortunate to go to school in a building that was built in 1997, added on to in 1999 and 2002/3. We also had a wide breadth of technological services. Class sizes also usually averaged in the 18-25 range.

    Another thing worth pointing out is that I also attended middle school in the same building, just upstairs. I don't know if this is good or bad. Due to growth, the middle school was moved to new buildings off-campus when I graduated high school.

    However, some downfalls are that my school was located in the middle of a cornfield, meaning everyone had to drive to school or take the bus. This created lots of traffic problems and created isolation and I think prevented some students from participating in extracurricular activities if they didn't have after-school transportation.

    All in all though, I enjoyed my time at high school and felt I got a quality education.

    Here is a website which might help you in determining average enrollment rates. It lists the enrollments for every high school in Illinois from 35 - 7000+: http://www.ihsa.org/school/enrolln.htm
    "Life's a journey, not a destination"
    -Steven Tyler

  7. #7
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    My high school was total population of 1800 and my graduating class (1996) was about 350. But this was the only public high school in an entire county with a popualtion of 30,000.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    The ends can justify the means.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian abrowne's avatar
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    I graduated in 2004 from Terry Fox Secondary School in Port Coquitlam, BC. The school at the time was about 1950-2050 students, depending on international enrollment and fluctuations. My graduating class was about 480 people.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    illinoisplanner.....Thanx for the great link. Did you see the size of the largest high school in Illinois? Something like 7700 students. Holy cow!

    (Harry Carey referencing Illinois school size.)

    Coincidently, I had just finished developing my list which was laid-out the same as the Illinois list.....school district, school, student population, and sports class.



    Bear
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  10. #10
         
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    My graduating class was somewhere just over 500. I dont think I would have benefitted from a smaller school, I liked high school enough and had a ton of friends. Education of a large school? I have said it before and will say it again, I think educationis what the child gets when they get home from school. The best teacher in the world can teach the best ciriculum, if it isn't reinforced at home then it isn't worth a damn.
    I am sure my high school is larger today, but I also think they recently opened an additional school. The district that I went to has four different high school, 3 junior high schools and I have no idea how many elementary, the district covers a VERY large geographic area.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Otis's avatar
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    My graduating class was 525 people. That's the size of the whole high scholl in my present burg.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    68 (private school). My brother went to public school here and had 900 in his class.

  13. #13
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    I went to a private all-boys school in Dallas (Jesuit College Prep). Entered as a freshman in 1989 with 192 and graduated 146 (or there abouts). I think they're graduating 240+ now.

    I would've gone to Plano Senior High if I had gone to public school which had something like 4,000 students in just two grades. There were two high schools at that point (the other was Plano East). They've since added a third.

    Quick explanation: for some reason, Plano organizes their school-system like this: K-5, 6-8, 9-10 and 11-12. <Shrug.> By the way, I'm pretty sure they choose to feed their student population into such a few number of high schools in order to maintain their 5A status in football, which is based on student population. Gotta have priorities, you know?

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Mark's avatar
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    600+ graduation class, so 2000+ total students.
    Ohhhh Mama, can this really be the end!

  15. #15
    There were 1,000 people in my graduating class. It's hard for me to judge if it being big had a negative affect on learning... because I don't have anything to compare it to. It was the only high school I've experienced. Being big of course meant that we had lots of course offerings. We could take a pretty wide variety of electives. I took crazy stuff like audio engineering.

    I can say though, that the biggest social difference is that a lot of people from smaller schools seem to have an experience that's closer to the image of high school you see in movies: where everybody knows eachother. This is definitely not the case when you go to a bigger high school. I "hung out with" about 20 friends, and I would say I knew the names of about 200 more. I never got to know the other 3,000 people in the school. So I guess it'd be almost akin to what most people experience in college, walking around among a mass of people you don't know. Is it bad? I don't know, but not what Hollywood portrays... the "rich kid" never invited the entire school to the famous party at his house, 'cause I didn't even know who the rich kids were and they didn't know me. People stuck to their own groups. The jocks didn't make fun of the dorks, 'cause the jocks didn't even know who the dorks were. The thugs hung out in the hallway all day while the Abercrombie kids took extra AP classes. There wasn't a whole ton of interaction between different ethnic, racial, class, and geographic groups. Everybody was in their own world. Even though 30% of the graduating class didn't go on to college, every single one of my friends from high school went to college. That 30% were so far insulated from me that I barely met any of those kids. They took lower level classes with worse teachers who focused on discipline instead of learning and treated them like criminals. They got saturday schools for being caught in the halls without passes, while the AP bunch got off 'cause their teachers would vouch for them.

    At the time, I think most people liked that setup. You could be your own person. I can imagine (and maybe I'm wrong) that at a smaller school, there is a lot more social pressure to conform to a certain standard. Go to the football games, go to the prom, etc. I hated football. But none of my friends went to the football games, so I wasn't an outcast. On the night of "the big game," I could go to my friends' houses and drink and hang with 20 of my closest friends and not one of us would mention football. Football was popular too, we just didn't hang out w/ those kids.

  16. #16
    Corn Burning Fool giff57's avatar
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    My graduation class held 15 guys and 15 girls. We have lost 3 guys since 1975.

    The school has consolidated once and is looking at further consolidation as enrollment declines.
    “As soon as public service ceases to be the chief business of the citizens, and they would rather serve with their money than with their persons, the State is not far from its fall”
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau

  17. #17
    Cyburbian jsk1983's avatar
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    Had slightly under 1,000 students at my high school. So there was 245 students in my graduating class. Seemed like an ideal size at the time but of course have nothing to compare it to. Large enough for some more specialized courses and extracurriclears but small enough to have a sense of community and not be an impersonal bureacracy where your known by your Social Security number.

  18. #18
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    My grade has about 120 kids in it, and about 580 kids total in the high school. It's nice, you know everyone, and since pretty much all of us are 'abercrombie kids' there's a feeling of family.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
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    I've got you all beat: Twenty (20) people in my graduating class at a coeducational boarding & day school.

    I can't remember exactly how many students we had in the entire school, but I'm sure it was less than 100...maybe 80. In many ways I consider myself privileged to have been a student there. Most of my teachers were excellent. And the social "cliques" that you hear about in large high schools did not exist.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally posted by Mark
    600+ graduation class, so 2000+ total students.
    Yep. R. Nelson Snider High School, Fort Wayne, IN

  21. #21
    Cyburbian H's avatar
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    1000 +/-

    120 +/- in my graduating class.
    "Those who plan do better than those who do not plan, even though they rarely stick to their plan." - Winston Churchill

  22. #22
    Cyburbian Breed's avatar
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    Went to a small US high school in Germany for my Freshman year... my class had about 80 people in it. Ended up graduating at a Virginia High School with about 140 kids.
    Every time I look at a Yankees hat I see a swastika tilted just a little off kilter.
    Bill "Spaceman" Lee

  23. #23
    Quote Originally posted by Bear Up North
    illinoisplanner.....Thanx for the great link. Did you see the size of the largest high school in Illinois? Something like 7700 students. Holy cow!
    But Morton School District has two different high schools (Morton East and Morton West), so I'm not sure why it's grouped as one school there. I'm assuming it's listed as one school because it is considered so for sports purposes... doesn't count in my book. There are two separate high school buildings in two separate towns.

    The largest enrollments for traditional high schools in 2003-2004:

    1. NJ ELIZABETH HIGH 5,299
    CA BELMONT SENIOR HIGH 5,299
    3. CA SUMMIT SCHOOL 5,223
    4. CA FREMONT (JOHN C.) SENIOR HIGH 5,083
    5. CA SOUTH GATE SENIOR HIGH 5,020
    6. CA ROOSEVELT (THEODORE) SENIOR HIGH 4,940
    7. CA MONROE (JAMES) HIGH 4,881
    8. CA LOS ANGELES SENIOR HIGH 4,876
    9. CA BELL SENIOR HIGH 4,855
    10. CA GARFIELD (JAMES A.) SENIOR HIGH 4,844
    11. CA LYNWOOD HIGH 4,818
    12. CA POLYTECHNIC HIGH 4,779
    13. TX JUDSON HIGH SCHOOL 4,778
    14. NY SACHEM HS 4,718

    Upper Darby used to the biggest high school in the US back in the day... but the common theme of today's largest schools is that they are predominately Hispanic.
    Last edited by passdoubt; 22 Nov 2005 at 2:48 AM.

  24. #24
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    I graduated in 1984 from a catholic school built to service the needs of inner-city parishes that had about 2,000 students in a building desined for 1,500.

    Enrollment has dropped so drastically that last year, the archdiese closed the school, but a fiesty nun is now running it as a christian centered private school anyways.

  25. #25
    Cyburbian PlannerByDay's avatar
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    1200 students in my school
    300 senior (12th grade) students
    250 graduated

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