Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in School Administration


Educational Services and Leadership


College of Education


Kern, Robert


Education, Secondary--Research; High school students--Attitudes


Elementary and Middle and Secondary Education Administration


Students in large schools are getting lost. In a school of over 2300 students, it is very easy for a student, who does not excel academically or athletically or those students who gain attention through negative behavior, to blend into the student body for four years without being noticed. Across the nation the move to create smaller learning communities has been an attempt to solve the ills that plague our inner city schools. The intended question of this study is whether or not the smaller learning communities will have the same measurable impact in a suburban district.

The data collected and analyzed were measures of academic achievement, student discipline and student feelings towards the school. Lenape Regional High School District is a regional high school district located in Burlington County, in the southern part of New Jersey. Cherokee, the third largest high school in the Lenape District, implemented a small learning community set up in the fall of 2000.

The data collected revealed that in three of the four data sets, the creation of a small learning community had a detrimental effect on students, manifested as increased suspensions, lower attendance, and a slight decrease in GPA.