Death of Small Schools: Part 1

Bob Morgan remembers the day of the community school in Warren County. Morgan taught at Alvaton High School for two years and was then the principal for four.

"Most of the pupils parents had grown up say in that community and that's unlike today,” Morgan said.

Morgan said his school was extremely small compared to today's.

"I think Alvaton was the second largest school and we had approximately 200 in the high school,” Morgan said.

Randall Jackson, with the Warren County School District, said schools in the area have grown dramatically since the 19th century.

"During the 1800s there were many one-room school buildings in the Warren County area. As the population increased in the early 1900's they would become two room buildings,” Jackson said.

Jackson said even though now that community high schools have consolidated into fewer, larger buildings there are still community elementary schools.

"Many of our current community schools such as Alvaton, Richpond, Bristow, North Warren developed in the 1920s and 1930s and became more of a community school, but to a larger degree,” Jackson said.

Another thing that has changed is the development of middle schools. Students used to go to elementary school until the eighth grade and then straight onto high school after that.

Middle schools were developed in the eighties due to the educational research that was coming out at the time.

"That age group is older than your traditional elementary child, but not quite ready for high school environment,” Jackson said.

Jackson says it was also cost-effective for the district to consolidate the older community schools.

Morgan, who is now retired from the Warren County School District, said the changes he's seen have provided more opportunities for the students.

However, for those that remember them, some nostalgia still exists for the community schools.

"I know many people miss those days of the smaller, community schools, where everybody knew everybody, and there are some advantages to that, but as far as what we're able to offer technology wise, extra curricular activities, as well as the curriculum there are advantages to the larger, consolidated schools,” Jackson said.