The consolidation of three small high schools into one medium-sized high school

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Virginia Tech


In a small rural school division in Virginia, three small high schools were consolidated into one medium-sized high school in the fall of 1992. This study examined that consolidation. The research question was: What happened when three small high schools consolidated into one medium-sized high school?

Data were collected from the following sources through: interviews with key actors of the consolidation process; surveys of students, teachers, and parents; and, public documents.

Results of the study include:

(1) Prior to consolidation some key actors favored and others opposed the consolidation. Their opinions did not change following the consolidation.

(2) Some of the advantages articulated by the proponents and some of the disadvantages articulated by the opponents were realized.

(3) Student outcomes did not change.

(4) The number of teacher preparations decreased and the student/teacher ratio increased, but not to the point of exceeding state guidelines.

(5) Transportation costs increased.

(6) Expenses for Administration, Instruction, Operation and Maintenance, and Facilities decreased.

(7) Time on the bus did not change.

Any locality that is considering a consolidation must identify the issues and concerns that are important to that locality. Those issues and concerns will vary location to location and should constitute the components of any subsequent evaluation.



closing, outcomes, rural