As part of my duties for the Small Schools Coalition, I am grateful for my unfettered access to voluminous data and global authorities, like Dr. Stuart Grauer, that make such a solid case for the Small Schools Movement. I am also privileged to see firsthand the enormous impacts these intimate learning communities have in the lives of their students.

However, like many people of my generation (later Gen X’er here), I never had the opportunity to step foot in a small school, or even inside a unique educational environment once I left preschool. After that, and no matter which side of the country I lived on, or what grade I was in K-12, every school I attended and class I took was pretty much the same. The schools themselves were tough, impersonal and at times, flat-out dangerous places. The best I could hope for most of the time was to virtually disappear, because it seemed like whenever I was recognized things never turned out well for me. …


Joe Brooks

Founder of Community Works Institute (CWI), leader, and advocate for a community focused approach to education.

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