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Jim Meade / Iowa City
Senior Advisor

How Big Was Your High School Class?

How big was your high school graduating class?

 

Mine graduated 14, 7 boys and 7 girls.  There were 2 more boys in the class who didn't graduate.

 

One couple married right after graduation and are still married.  Two have died.  There are a few divorces and one in jail.

 

It's been a long journey from there.  Only as I got older did I realize how dramatically shortchanged I was in education.  No chemistry, very little math, virtually no science.  But everyone played on the sports teams, you betcha.

 

My daughters graduated in classes of 400 and had an immensely better educational experience than I did.  They didn't play sports but were in plays and music, attended very good universities and have much better jobs than I had early in my career.

 

I used to thionk big schools were bad but my thinking is 180° now.  In a big school, nearly every kid can find a group they fit into and excel in.  No need to be a jock or homecoming queen to succeed.

 

 

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20 Replies
Kay/NC
Honored Advisor

Re: How Big Was Your High School Class?

Our county had one central high school, after total desegregation, which occurred in 1969.  Our senior class was 313, 293 of which marched at commencement together, for the official Class of 1972. 

 

Like you, we had one or two couples of classmates that got married within a year or so of graduation.  Mike and I married the November of my college sophomore year, 1973.  One couple is longer-wed than we are, by a few months, I think. 

 

I believe we got as good an education as we wanted to get then.  We were far enough post-Sputnik, that science and math were high priorities.  Mike and I both took the max of those classes...chem, physics, trig, pre-calculus, etc.   

 

Math was good enough that I got unsolicited scholarships at my college of choice, to attempt to lure me into the math program.  I didn't bite...sometimes wonder what life would've been like if I had...honestly, early childhood ed was a snooze, not intellectually challenging.  The courseload left virtually no room for exploring other interests...we had content and then methods courses for teaching the content in the classroom.

 

I completed a four-year degree in two years and ten months.  Got engaged, married, built a home, worked part-time and moved twice in that time.  Had two in-patient surgeries in there, too.  It was hectic.  No wonder I am tired....

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chore girl
Veteran Contributor

Re: How Big Was Your High School Class?

There were 9 in the class of '64 and that was one of the bigger classes...5 girls and 4 boys.  The boys always grumbled about being outvoted and never getting anything their way. Smiley Happy  Three married the summer after graduation. Of the guys, one became a banker, one a teacher, one a farmer and the other has a home repair/remodel business.  The one that taught died a couple of years ago.  Of the girls, one is a Realtor, one a bookkeeper,  one works in a hospital office, one was a housewife with a large family and she died many years ago.  I worked in insurance and interior design until my dad died and then I, along with my husband and daughter, moved home to run the farm.  Husband continued his job in town.  

 

I think our little school did well with the budget it had.  We had all four years of math and science, and extras like chorus, band, and plays  a couple of times a year.  The girls put on a fashion show of the dresses they made in home ec along with skits and music. Boys were in sports and the girls had PE.  I think sports were more about exercise and fun then than the big deal they are now. Of course, the competition was there, but not the pressure there is now.  There were a few years that they even had trouble putting together a 6-man team.     

 

I don't think any of us felt we were lacking when we went off to college, but back then a lot of the boys went off to Vietnam instead of college.  I think maybe online courses have help level the playing field for some of the small schools, too.  Our district built a new school last year and has increased enrollment a bit over the years, but classes are still small.            

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idalivered
Advisor

Re: How Big Was Your High School Class?

I graduated in a class of 28. The educational opportunities were not as good as now. Probably 5 or 6 have died from natural causes. a big % . We lost 2 during high school.  2 of us operate farms. I rented a half section the year after i graduated and got married that year (1977). I was 18 and my wife was 19.  I attended 1 year of college before that.

 

As far as educational opportunities, my daughters attended a small school. CLass size 40-60. they had a good education, but not as many choices as larger schools. they all went on to get their BA and MA degrees in their fields.

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turkey feather
Senior Contributor

Re: How Big Was Your High School Class?

We had a HS class of 54. Our township school took in another smaller township school which increased our class some in high school. I recently heard a man twenty years younger talk about being in city HS and how much better it was than rural areas in regard to options. I believe our education was good as many moved on to college and did well. I believe we learned more skills for successful living than today's students. Home Ec classes were not just leaning to cook which most of us already knew. It was also first aid, nutrition, basic sewing (we knew how to sew on a button) and one of my favorites was house design. I designed our house when we were first married and moved into an older family house and added additions. Ending home ec classes ended teaching basic living skills. An example is basic nutrition, I shudder watching young people eat macaroni and cheese and mashed potatoes and corn together. And we wonder why so obesity is rampant.

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dnorris1
Contributor

Re: How Big Was Your High School Class?

Class of 15.  Class before us had 14.  Two largest classed ever to graduate from that school.  2 years later baby boom was over and school closed and consolidated.  Feel education prepared us well.  Those that attended college did well.  Some even "quized out" of Freshman level classes and had 12 to 14 hours of college credit before they ever started college.  All but one are still living.  Died in a car crash about 10 years after graduation.

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Suey73
Advisor

Re: How Big Was Your High School Class?

28 graduated.   We lost a lot along the way to teenage pregnacy  and  drop outs.   Ours was small  but the class ahead of  had  47 classes behind us had  50+.     Top 7 were girls.   Of the top 8.   Seven attended  a 4 year college.  6 have degrees, the 7th was only a year away but took employment.  We were all employed at sometime in our major areas,  if you count me.     I was ashamed of my small school education until I got to the university and realized I was ahead of many kids from bigger schools.   One of valdictorians of a big school was in my English Lit class.    I was a B/B+ student  she got straight A's.   I was better than she was.    Had 4 years of math,  5 years of science,  3.5 years of English, 3 years of Social studies,  2 years Spanish,  plus other electives.  Only thing I wished I'd had was Ag.   They dropped it my sophmore year.   The school should have consolidated  10+ years ago.   They are graduating classes of 14 now,  all sports are cooped.     

I know at least one class member died in a DUI,   I figure at least one probably died from drugs,   There has to be 2 who spent time in jail.    The top kids left that river town.    #9 stayed in the area.   He is a farmer.   

Class of 1973   Meredosia-Chambersburg,  Illinois.

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Kay/NC
Honored Advisor

Re: How Big Was Your High School Class?

Reading about these tiny schools amazes me. My seventh-grade class, which was at the smallest elementary, was 42 kids! Not a lot of petsonalized attention in that criwd, but I still felt we mostly did all right. Even special needs kids were in class, right along with everyone else...no programs for them then.
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Suey73
Advisor

Re: How Big Was Your High School Class?

Back in Grade School we had about 18/20 per classroom.    We did have  special reading in our grade school and Jr. High.   I don't remember "Special  Education".  Although,  I'm sure at least 4 of our graduating class should have been in a special education classroom.   I'm sure they were not at grade level for math or reading.  In First and Second grade the reading groups were the:  Blue,  red and yellow birds.    I think by 3rd grade they put us all together to sink or swim.   Even my daughter's class divided up the class into high and lower levels for math and reading  back in the late 80's. 

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manureseller
Senior Contributor

Re: How Big Was Your High School Class?

I think my graduating class was 38 or possibly 40+ if you counted the alternative school kids.  It was okay, I graduated with Honors but to be honest my high school education was a joke and really did not prepare me for college.  The fact that I did pretty decent in college is in no way attributed to high school. 

 

Is it really sad to say that I don't keep up with my high school class?  I was more of an outcast since I was from a different town anyways so I spent more time with my 4-H friends then anyone from school.  I know our reunion is coming up (20 years) but I doubt I'll get home for it.  I can see what most are doing on Facebook and I'm good with that.

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