As summer drifted away and another school year began, SLVHS students entered the classrooms to discover an unusual amount of students. This year, there was an unexpected overflow of freshman, which resulted in jumbled schedules and huge amounts of students in classes. The class of 2021 had more students than SLVHS was ready for.
When asked whether the district knew about the number of students attending, Mr. Calden told the Claw “Not until around July. At first, there were only 6 or 7 new students, but then the calls just kept coming until about the middle August . . . they came from our charter school, Baymonte, Scotts Valley High, Homeschool, or charter schools that weren’t ours. There were people moving here, too.” When asked whether they were in touch during the wave of new students, Mr. Calden also told the Claw “Yes, they were in touch and were aware of how many students there were- but they had to make sure that everyone would show up.”
During this ordeal, most students were wondering why there weren’t new teachers to help with the freshmen overload, and according to Mr. Calden, “No one teacher could cover all of it.”, which makes sense, considering there were teachers needed for English, Spanish, and Science. Mr. Calden also informed the Claw that PE classes have the most students because it is required for all freshmen to take the class. As for specific teachers, Mr. Poetzinger has the largest classes, due to the amount of students who applied for his journalism classes.
Casey Crouch, a Freshman at SLVHS, told the Claw “My biology class had like 40 people and my PE class had a lot of people. Now my Spanish class is messed up because there’s barely anyone in it.”, and said that there weren’t many problems outside of that. Mr. Calden’s statement about the PE classes being abnormally large is also similar to Casey’s description, so most Freshmen should expect a hectic physical education. Mr. Calden also stated that Juniors and Seniors’ schedules are not as susceptible to change because of the specific combinations of AP classes. As for any changes in schedules for the rest of the year, Mr. Calden explained that the problem is “solved” at this point, and there will be no changes for the remainder of the school year.
Even though the freshmen schedule problem is solved, there are still other problems facing our school. Aside from freshmen, the upperclassmen are also facing issues. With more students being able to drive each year, car related problems are becoming more frequent.
The amount of students attending SLVHS is making it harder for students to get to school. This is especially true in Boulder Creek and Brookdale, where the stoplight was set up after the storm. With new students, the traffic is only growing worse, making it so students need to get up earlier to ensure they get to class on time.
For upperclassmen, leaving earlier and earlier also means it is becoming a race to find parking, which is why the school is raffling off monthly parking places. Craig Yeomans, a senior at SLVHS, said: “I have to leave an hour before school starts to even have a chance at being on time, and even then I still have to pray that I can find parking.”
The steps taken to fix the schedules for all students were not simple, and cost some of the teachers their prep period. The district had to ask a few teachers to give up their prep period so they could open up new Science, Spanish, and English classes. Ms. Buie offered to teach an English Foundation class, Mr. Christensen offered to teach at the high school again, and at SLVMS, Mr. Olin is teaching six classes with no breaks. There were other plans to open up new classes, but as school got nearer, the plans faded away. What ended up taking place was to take away a Spanish 3 class and replace it with a Spanish 1 class, to better deal with the large amount of freshmen.
So, now that this problem has been solved, new questions arise: Will the class of 2021 create issues every year?
If the Freshmen class was too large, will the following Sophomore, Junior, and Senior classes be too big, too?
Can we assume that the district will be better prepared for the years to come?
Is the freshmen population problem truly over?
By Angelo Reis