The Student News Site of Frederick High School

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The Student News Site of Frederick High School

Frederick Lantern

The Student News Site of Frederick High School

Frederick Lantern

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How Many Students is Too Many?

On a daily basis, students of Frederick High School are complaining about the school’s overcrowding. How many students is too many?
Frederick High School’s stairs into the commons at the start of lunch. Within less than a minute, students begin flooding in and lining up to get food.

As the 23-24 school year takes off at Frederick High School, a problem has arisen that is being talked about all across campus. The school is vastly overcrowded.

This problem was inevitable, with every graduating class being the largest graduating class of Frederick. Yet now, the ramifications of the massive student body are becoming clear. While it’s easy to overlook an extra desk or two being added to a classroom that can’t fit them, the situation has become significantly more consequential than that.

First, regarding said situation within classrooms themselves, it’s beginning to transcend a couple desks being added. In some rooms, we’re seeing classes that must accommodate more students than the room was meant to handle. While no, this isn’t necessarily a problem in every single classroom, it certainly may become one, especially in classes which are required for graduation. Furthermore, this isn’t just an issue of physical space. An instructor may already struggle to effectively teach 25 students, but add an additional five or ten? The teacher’s effectiveness deteriorates exponentially as the student-teacher ratio increases.

Then, the issue of overcrowding spills out of the classroom. Hallways at Frederick during the passing periods have had a notorious reputation for years. It’s almost part of the Frederick High School experience; a sea of students so dense that it barely moves, resembling a packed concert venue more than a school. Of the five minutes allocated to students for moving between classes, how many are spent standing still, waiting for the omnidirectional traffic jam to clear up? This problem has always been present, but it has become increasingly prominent as the school’s population increases every year. Not only is this a concern for time reasons, but it begs the question: how is this safe in any capacity? It would be unimaginably catastrophic if an emergency occurred not during a block, but during a passing period. Even if it’s for just five minutes, passing periods demonstrate exactly why overcrowding is something people are complaining about.

Then from the hallways, the issue arrives in the cafeteria. The 23-24 school year is featuring something wonderful: the Health School Meals for All program, which allows all students of St. Vrain Valley School District to have access to free meals at school. While this is great news overall, when free food is offered to an overpopulated school, it creates massive demand. The cafeteria staff has done an excellent job with this situation so far, churning out meal after meal for a seemingly endless line that dissipates only in the last 10 or 15 minutes of the 30 minute lunch block. Thankfully, this issue is relatively minor for now, but surely the line (which truly stretches across the entire commons) could be managed more effectively.

And of course, school administration is undoubtedly affected by the incredible size of Frederick High School. Managing thousands of students is no easy feat, and all staff, from counselors to janitors, is likely feeling the effects of needing to stretch resources thin to handle the sheer quantity of people. Scheduling classes, tracking academic progress, managing basic disciplinary actions? While it may be speculative, we could all assume it is an uphill battle against a growing student population.

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