PV Student Body Up by 183
October 5, 2017
Lunch lines are longer and many classrooms do not have enough desks for student. Some classes even have 40 to 50 students.
The number of students in Palos Verdes High School has been steadily increasing for the past few years. This school year marks the peak and most dramatic increase in the enrollment of new students.
The number of students at PVHS has increased from 1,667 Sea Kings last school year to 1,829 this year, which means 162 more students.
According to Principal Dr. Charles Park, PVHS is one of the only schools that has witnessed a constant growth in the student body within PVPUSD, while the other schools have seen fluctuating student enrollment.
“Our number skyrocketed to 1829 this year… Our school, we are at the highest we have been since 2009,” said Park.
The expansion of the student body resulted from various factors. This year, PVHS had a large portion of transfer students from military families and states outside of California. More students from middle school taking a zero period here contributed to the student increase as well. Students who now attend PVHS- regardless of new freshmen or transfer students from within the district-chose to spend the rest of their high school years for characteristics and programs PVHS offers, such as the open-campus, the ocean view, the wellness center, the availability of diverse classes, the block schedule, and more.
“It’s great that enrollment is increasing because it just means that people in the district are more interested in what PV High School has to offer,” said senior Angelina Norris.
However, the high number of students means larger class sizes and higher student to teacher ratio. One class in particular, Latin, even had 53 students in a single class period until the class had to be split into two.
In addition, students and teachers face problems due to larger class sizes. Teachers find teaching and organizing larger classes to be more difficult and time consuming. Some students find focusing and learning in a less intimate learning environment to be challenging.
“You get less individual attention from the teachers. Also, the class can get really loud that sometimes you can’t even hear the teacher. In that way, it is harder to focus and learn,” said senior Morgaine McIlhargey.
Regarding the difficulty of paying attention, Norris said, “it’s definitely much harder to learn in big classes and the teachers are very busy trying to teach close to 40 students that they can’t give any individual help.”
More importantly, safety has become a problem for science classes, particularly chemistry. Having almost 40 students in a chemistry class has made labs at lab tables more difficult and dangerous.
Megan Jarrin, chemistry teacher, believes that the number one issue is the safety.
“What I am concerned about is the safety. A chemistry class is where students work with flammable, corrosive solvents, acids, bases, and bunsen burners.. When you have excessively large labs, there is a safety issue,” said Jarrin.
Despite the negative effects, with a greater number of students on campus, the school has received more funding from the district, which now allows PVHS to renovate and provide more opportunities for school events.
“Since we have more students and therefore more funding, we can do more things like picnic and other lunchtime activities. Now we are just trying to build up the culture. I think it will be healthier for us,” said Park.
This issue has also brought job security, diversity, and energy to the campus. Through more interactions, students feel that they can growing to be more adaptive to the diverse environment.
“Even though classes has become much bigger, it is great that this happened. I see people with different backgrounds and personalities and they broaden my perspective and fill the campus with more energy,” said Norris.
“These things really beat the negatives,” she said.