We have in Alberta schools called "small school by necessity".
Historically communities who are far from larger centers would have schools that are small. These schools are funded by the government to a greater amount per student than schools in urban centers because the students simply could not travel the great distances to the urban centers for their education.
We live outside a small community which has two elementary schools, one public, one Catholic. Close to where we live is a small school, which I think at one point was a small school by necessity but now it is just a community school which depends on student enrollment to keep running. This school has one classroom and teacher for grades one, two and three and another for grades four, five and six. There is a small amount of students that attend this school. Because we live so close to it we can choose to send our sons to this school or to the school in town.
Max has been attending an early intervention program at the school in town for two years. He is registered to attend this year. This program has been AMAZING for him. He has developed in leaps and bounds since he began. He has had the best aide for two years.We adore her and the work she does with him and SHE adores him. The bus ride for him to get to this school is over an hour each way.
The community school called this week to say they were running a program this year, there will be four kids, maybe five, in his class if we chose to send him here. The bus ride for him will be about half an hour - TOPS. We know that when he enters grade one we would like him in our community school because of the ratio of students to teachers and because of the way the classes are split. If for some reason he is delayed he would still be with basically the same kids. We went to an open house there last night and checked out the place (we have been there before). I thought after attending the open house I would have come to some certain conclusion one way or another.
It looks, on paper, like the best thing is to put him into the community school now. He would have a year to transition which is something we know he needs. For some reason I CANNOT find "peace" with this decision. Neither can I find peace with the decision to send him into town. It's so ridiculous. I can honestly say I have never had such a tough decision with regards to parenting as this one.
I hope decisions get easier as he gets older or I am hooped!