Bustin’ at the seams

Will Cleveland’s growth, expected to be 1600 students next year, be too much? Find out how the school is coping with the many changes coming our way this fall

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Cleveland enrollment is expanding and the campus is having difficulties keeping up. With a projected 130 extra students next year, the student body is expected to breach over 1600. In addition, more than 20 new staff members will be hired along with seven new projected classes.

For every 27 additional students, a new teacher is hired. With rising students and teachers, more classrooms are needed, yet the building size and resources remain constant.

With limited space, many teachers will be forced to share their classrooms. This essentially means that one teacher will have the classroom for specific periods of the day and another teacher will use the room in the remaining periods.

Currently there is one math teacher who shares a classroom. Next year, numerous teachers will be in that same position. “Teachers will need to shift their thinking about sole ownership of a classroom,” said Vice Principal Kevin Taylor.

Sharing classrooms comes with disappointment to many teachers who use their room as a way to channel their own creativity into the surrounding environment. “Oftentimes, classrooms are a reflection of the identity of the teacher and the community they create. Many teachers put their own stamp on their classroom, so they will have to minimize their individualism in order to share with another teacher,” Steve Nims, history teacher, said.

“Sharing facilities will be challenging for both students and teachers. It may be more difficult for students to locate teachers or get help outside of regular class time,” said David Hillis, English teacher.

Despite the disadvantages, sharing several classrooms is a reluctant necessity, as there are no other options to fulfill the class demands.

“The bottom line is, kids need spaces to learn and if the option is between having class in the cafeteria or a classroom during someone’s prep period, then the latter is the way to go,” said Nims.

Patrick Gonzales, English teacher, hopes the enlargement doesn’t impair learning for students. “The concern that I have is that with more students and a constant building size, tight space can bring a bit of aggravation. There is always a tipping point.”

Gonzales also is concerned about rising numbers for popular programs such as a choir, speech and debate, and theater. “There are limited spaces in these programs and we need to make sure students feel there is a place for them, whether it’s an arts group, robotics, or animation club,” he said.

Numerous new staff members will be hired next year, including administrators. There will be three Vice Principals next year, so Taylor and Katy Wagner-West will adjust their current responsibilities. Also, each academy will have one instructional assistant who will oversee the freshmen students to ensure a successful transition from middle to high school.

The new classes to be implemented next year will include Yoga and Mindfulness, Woodshop, Statistics and Probability, HL Anthropology, Women in American History, and Epic Issues. The entire art department will have a shift in classes. Cleveland will offer Beginning Art, 2D Art, 3D Art, and Beginning Illustration. The following year there will be Advanced Illustration. The culinary arts department is also expanding with a second year International Foods class. Additionally, every junior will be required to enroll in IB English. A support class called IB Boost will be offered for those who seek additional guidance.

“I’m really excited to be able to take a class that emphasizes health and wellbeing of students,” said junior Leah Cromett who will take the Yoga and Meditation course.

Elise Hodge, junior, is forecasted to take Epic Issues next year. “I’m excited to take a unique class that focuses on current events. It’s great that Cleveland offers a wide variety of classes,” she said.

The auditorium is also being renovated, with improvements in sound, lighting, and the stage.

With this addition of students, classes, and staff members, Cleveland has a big adjustment to make. Luckily, the Cleveland staff and student body have faith in Cleveland’s ability to make ends meet. “I don’t have many concerns about it. Cleveland is a pretty great place and it seems to be that we have enough programming to keep students interested, but we may be busting at the seams,” concluded Gonzales.