Marysville Getchell Campus
A few years ago, Marysville Pilchuk High School, one of the largest high schools in Washington state, had 3,000 students crammed into a building designed for a little more than half that many. Students were getting lost in the crowd: In the 2007-08 school year, the state-calculated graduation rate was 50.8 percent. School district officials decided that when it was time to upgrade, it was also time to downsize.
The school was split into eight schools. Half of the old Pilchuk campus's students now attend four smaller schools on the new Getchell campus, one focused on science, one on communications, one on entrepreneurship, and one on construction and engineering. Small schools received attention from foundations and nonprofit groups earlier this decade. Though that attention has trailed off, Lawrence Nyland, the superintendent of the 11,000-student Marysville school district, says that small schools have made a world...
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