Halstrom Blog Post
Small Campus Community
One of the most frequently expressed concerns I hear from incoming families is fear for their student’s social life. Halstrom Academy-Brentwood, like all Halstrom Academys, is a small campus with a fraction of the amount of students of most high schools. But I’m happy to say, as a graduate of both a smaller high school and a smaller graduate school, that it’s typically the tiny groups that forge the greatest bonds.
We’ve found with our students the smaller environment is beneficial in many ways. First and foremost, many of our students come to us because they are experiencing bullying at their traditional schools. With a smaller campus, bullying is generally a non-issue. However, on the rare occasions that we do experience issues, it’s easy to handle the problem swiftly and effectively, as student/staff communication lines are open.
Additionally, with fewer students on campus, there are fewer instances of friendship opportunity paralysis. Meaning, finding a friend or friend group is easy because there aren’t thousands of students about. New students are greeted warmly and welcomed into the fold quickly. In between class sessions, students are at one of the common areas or in the Hangout. A small campus funnels students into designated areas and socializing, if desired, is informal and stress-free.
Even better, the small campus means that students have a direct hand in designing the campus activities. Over the last few months, we’ve had multiple incidences of spontaneous game hours, as well as on-campus cookie decorating, gingerbread house designing and many student-led field trips to the ice skating rink in Santa Monica or to UCLA for a multi-cultural tour.
Students in smaller environments create fast and fierce bonds. Because Halstrom is different, they’re immediately joined together as students looking to take charge of their academic life. Halstrom is a unique place for unique students, but finding and flourishing a friendship has never been an issue of concern.
Tai Farnsworth, Halstrom Academy- Brentwood, Campus Operations Coordinator, has a short story published in the fifteenth edition of "The Quotable," as well as two interviews in the literary journal Lunch Ticket. In 2015, she earned her MFA in Writing for Young People from Antioch University. Tai lives in Los Angeles with her partner, her cat, and too many mason jars. She's currently shopping around her novel.