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The Small School Network

Group students in reduced groups with 1 teacher, by grade and proximity, creating a controlled and connected network

Photo of Luz Fernandez Gandarias
2 4

Written by

I am a.....

  • I lead a philanthropic initiative which detects and trains top talent in Data Sciene

Tell us about your idea

In a closed and more controlled environment as activities start to reactivate, set up a network of "small schools" who coordinate among them and with a main school.

For example, 4 first graders with an elementary teacher A who might live nearby,  work together for 15 days, in one of the first graders' houses. (chances are these kids already know each other since they're neighbours). 

15 days after that, teacher A quarantines at home, and coordinates activities with other in-house teachers remotely. Teacher B (who was quarantining and coordinating) continues classes. After 15 days, teacher A could either return to the same group (ideal if we could only rotate 2 teachers per group).

we could also alternate students on a 15days together/15remote basis if needed.

This would enable students to have a face to face group of students to interact with, maintaining social contact. And in the midterm, the networks or the "small school" size could increase.

What part(s) of the pre-COVID school system do you wish to leave in the past? Why?

Large groups of students interacting in large spaces, would make it harder to control a new spread of the virus. Large classes with reduced amount of attention per student, and a lower interaction among parents of the same school.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what inspired you to share this idea.

I'm from Spain and have been in Peru for 5 years. I've worked in finance and analysis, innovation, and transformational initiatives. I currently lead a philanthropic initiative which aims to detect top talent and train potential changemakers in the field of Data Science.  I I believe in the power of online education to bring knowledge to everyone regardless of distance. However, human interaction to me is a key part of any learning process and it should be fostered whenever possible. I have 3 children and, no matter how well online school is turning out for them, I still see them miss their friends everyday.

What region are you located in?

  • Latin America and the Caribbean

Where are you located?

I live in Lima, Perú, a very large city where there is huge disparity among its people. but what's common to all of them is the "neighborhood" sense of belonging and the will to collaborate at that level, if it helps the community as a whole. I've seen some families buy one laptop per child during quarantine, I’ve seen ratios of 1 laptop per 200 children or more. So, why not bridge possible connection gaps with face to face, controlled environment teaching and scale it with global tech?


Join the conversation:

Photo of Naman Mandhan

Thank you for your idea Luz Fernandez Gandarias ! I'm wondering how your model might translate across to elementary school students who might live in dense, highly populated areas like cities?

Photo of Luz Fernandez Gandarias

Hi Naman, thanks so much for your comment! It could be builidng based, mapping all kids in a building with the same age, even if that means different schools joining efforts. Or it could be reduced to a block or one street, mapping kids in buildings nearby. Space in extremely small apartments might be reduced but still could be Ok for reduced groups os 3/4 students.
Chances are within a densely populated area you can also find a higher teacher ratio.