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Overmuzed
12-11-2011, 06:11 AM
I have a small town in mind, about 1,200 people. Most of the residents are retirees - boating, fishing, hunting, etc.

But there has to be a support network, small businesses - tack shops, grocery store, gas station, etc. - so these residents have children.

1. How many children are reasonable in a small town like that?

2. I need at least twelve second-graders, boys, age 9-10 in a story

3. How is the school arranged? Do they all go to the same school, grouped regardless of age? Do some of them get bussed off to a larger town?

My main concern, I need 12 boys of 9-10 years old to be in a town. How big of a town you think it needs to be to accomodate this number of boys?

They boys will be missing, but nothing bad will happen to them, this is not a sick story, only on a surface.

Wicked
12-11-2011, 06:23 AM
I went to school in a town with a population less than 200.
There were twenty five kids in a two-room school house, grades K-8. There were two teachers, one taught the lower room (k-4th), and the other taught the upper room (5th -8th). I was the only one in my grade. High school age kids had to drive to a larger town.
There was one church, the grade school, the post office, and a pop machine.

Hubby went to school in a town of about 650. There was a grade school and a high school. There were about 7-8 boys in his grade. The school was large enough that each grade had its own room and teacher.
His town had several churches, two bars, grade school, high school, bakery, gas station, feed store, hardware store, and small corner grocery store.

A town with a population of 1,200 should be large enough to have that many boys within the same age range.

toogrey2
12-11-2011, 06:39 AM
I live in a rural area about 1000 people scattered around. We have a elementary/jr. high. There are about 160 kids in the school. I think the largest class is around 15. There are 3 larger towns about 10 miles away, each have high schools, so our school provides buses that drops the older kids off at the school of thier choice. Does that help?

Bushrat
12-11-2011, 06:40 AM
I think the size of town you have in mind could work - maybe a bit bigger, around 2,000 people, since you say there are mostly retirees and the kids have to come from somewhere, right?
I worked at a school in a village of around 500 people and they used to group two, in some instances three grades together - otherwise you run into a situation where you'd have one-on-one classrooms.
It was a remote village with the closest town 200km away but most parents chose to have their kids attend senior high in that town instead of the village (the village school obviously didn't have top-notch science facilities or teachers). Those kids that went to school in the twon either stayed at dorms or friends or family.
But as for the rest, they did all go to the same school building, grade 1-12, until a few years ago when the senior high kids got their own trailer classroom at a different location.
So as far as bussing older kids to a different town, it depends on how far away the closest high school in your story is. Kids here (Canada) get bussed to school up to two hours distant in some cases, though up to an hour is more common.

jclarkdawe
12-11-2011, 06:46 AM
You might want to look at Does class size matter? (http://schoolsofthought.blogs.cnn.com/2011/12/07/does-class-size-matter-2/?hpt=hp_c1)

My town has a population a bit bigger than your town. Kindergarten through fifth grade is done in town, then they move up to a regional middle school.

Class size varies from less then ten to greater then thirty for both sexes in the elementary school. One year I know we were down to three boys in one grade. But population swings are an issue that's more noticeable in smaller communities than larger ones. Sometimes classes are merged to get a good balance.

Your twelve boys would probably be an uptick year. If you're worried about it, make it clear it's a bounce up and how the class before only had four boys.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

Captcha
12-11-2011, 06:46 AM
Might depend on kids being bussed in, as well. A town may not be that large, but it might still have the school that supports a lot of farm families, etc.

So it'll depend on the size of your town PLUS the demographics of the surrounding area. Room for fudging.

toogrey2
12-11-2011, 06:46 AM
You need 12 boys of 9-10 years old, but is it necessary for them to be in the same class. That age would be fourth grade but if their birthday fell after September 1st, a 9 year old could be in 3rd. All three of my grandchildren are in a grade behind because of when they were born.

Overmuzed
12-11-2011, 07:27 AM
Awesome. So I can have additional kids bussed in, that opens some avenues for more suspects, not bad, thanks. OK, so I have 3-4 grade to work with for my 12 boys, very good.

Another question, what grade are they introduced to algebra, e.g. not just counting 1,2,3,4,5, etc. but actually substituting the numbers for the variables, like a, b, c, x, y, z? Yeah, feeling my own age. Cannot even ask kids (??) anymore, even they don't remember.

LJD
12-11-2011, 07:37 AM
My boyfriend is from a small town of about 1600.
There were about 30 kids/grade at his elementary school.
Not all of these kids were from the town though; many lived on farms and were bussed in.

I started doing algebra in grade 7. (I was in grade 7 about 15 years ago.) However, I am Canadian...may be different in other places.

toogrey2
12-11-2011, 07:43 AM
I called a friend who teaches elementary and she said they start introducing simple algebraic formulas in 4th and 5th grades but very rudimentary.

Medievalist
12-11-2011, 07:44 AM
I grew up in a small town in N.H. -- about 1,000 year-round residents. K-8th grade was in town. Kindergarten in the Town Hall; 1-8 in a school in town.

Class size varied, but 8th grade had 26 students.

1st grade had 30.

Most students had known each other their entire lives; many were cousins.

Most were third generation or more residents of the town. You knew who you would have in class with you, unless someone moved. You knew who your teacher would be the next year. And all your teachers probably knew your siblings, or cousins.

Medievalist
12-11-2011, 07:48 AM
Another question, what grade are they introduced to algebra, e.g. not just counting 1,2,3,4,5, etc. but actually substituting the numbers for the variables, like a, b, c, x, y, z? Yeah, feeling my own age. Cannot even ask kids (??) anymore, even they don't remember.

Fourth grade introduces the idea of "solve for x, and things like the commutative property, and basic set theory.

Look for class / school Web sites. Look at the Addison Wesley Math textbooks on Amazon and Addison Wesley (they've owned elementary math textbooks outside of Texas for fifty years).

BarbaraKE
12-11-2011, 11:39 AM
I grew up in a small town that had 1,206 people in the 1980 census. That year, the senior class had 78 people.

That might seem like a high percentage (78/1206) but you have to remember that kids from outside the actual 'village' came too.

Richard White
12-11-2011, 12:06 PM
My hometown was 490.

There were 242 kids in the HS. (9-12) My graduating class was 47.

We also got kids from around the county attending my school. Can't rely just on the town boundaries - not necessarily the school district's boundaries.

shaldna
12-11-2011, 01:45 PM
.

1. How many children are reasonable in a small town like that?

of 1200 people, assuming a third of them are of child bearing age, you could have MAYBE 50 kids of primary school age.



3. How is the school arranged? Do they all go to the same school, grouped regardless of age? Do some of them get bussed off to a larger town?

My daughter's school has only 60 kids - and that's UP from recent years.

They have three class rooms - 1 is for preschool (reception, aged 4) P1 (aged 5) and P2 (aged 6). the second class is for P3 P4 and P5 (7, 8 and 9) and the third is for P6 and P7 (aged 10 and 11)

There are three teachers, one of them is also teh headmistress. There is a school receptionist who basically runs the place, one full time teaching assistant and one member of 'support staff' who does the cleaning and supervises lunchtime etc.

The kids come from up to 20 miles away (like us) but there is no bus for them.

The school is pretty small, there are three classrooms, a small office where the receptionist is, a lunch room which is tiny, two bathrooms and use of an old church hall for PE.