The Jaguar Journal

The Student News Site of North Creek High School

The Jaguar Journal

The Jaguar Journal

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FULL HOUSE

Originally Printed in the November 2023 Issue of The Jaguar Journal
FULL+HOUSE
Luka Beadnell

North Creek High School is the largest school in the entire Northshore School District. Despite the school’s relatively young lifespan of 7 years, the available capacity did not anticipate the increase in number of students. overpopulation of students, especially incoming grades, has a profound impact on all who attend NCHS.

In October of last year, the school exceeded its capacity by 355 students. Furthermore, in June of 2023, the total number of students in NCHS was 1,739. This year, there are 482 seniors, 460 juniors, 497 sophomores, and 508 freshmen, resulting in a total of 1,947 students. The increase of 208 students indicates that this year, we are 555 students over capacity.

Despite attempts to accommodate the growing number of students — the impact of overpopulation is apparent in the claustrophobic hallways, classrooms, the stairs, doors and the cafeteria. Students struggle to get on time to their classes during passing periods, simply because of the massive crowds of kids trying to enter and exit buildings and classrooms.

There is simply no space for kids to stop in the hallways or shove past each other because of the traffic jams around the doors and stairways. Fitting and accommodating for the entire school during assemblies has become a major struggle, as freshmen don’t even fit in their designated section and entering or exiting the gym results in large crowds.

The impact of overpopulation significantly impacts extracurricular activities. Increasing funding is needed for sports and clubs due to the amount of students and there are simply not enough sports lockers so students have to share these small spaces.

Additionally, class sizes have increased from around twenty to thirty-eight plus students. Teachers don’t have the time to personally check in with each individual student on a regular basis and students who need assistance feel pressure or simply can’t ask for help.

Teachers receive a surplus of work added on their plates to grade, and staff receive even more emails, calls, and meetings to oversee.

“Last year I was campus security… and there are so many more kids this year. It makes it more difficult to make sure that everyone is where they need to be. Working at the counselors office this year just means more volume of work.” said Patty Ward, the Student Information Specialist in NCHS.

Additionally, clubs and sports teams have to accommodate for a surplus of new recruits.

Numerous factors have contributed to the escalating rate of student enrollment. Over the past decade, thousands of people moved into this area, accompanied by increasing birth rates. According to bothellwa.gov, the population of Bothell has increased by 32,649 people from 1990-2018.

Last year, Dr. Les Kendrick compiled a report on his predictions of the growth rate of NSD in the next decade. He predicts a medium-range growth of 627 students, and a low range of 232 students in the Northshore School District from 2022-2031.

To resolve this issue, every year the EDTF committee (Enrollment Demographics Task Force), which consists of NSD staff, Ex-Officio members, NSD general positions, and parents, provides annual recommendations to the school board based on studies of district demographics. These recommendations include a compilation of potential short-term mitigation strategies that they believe the school should implement, or at least consider.

The founding Innovation Labs High School was supposed to help distribute the surplus of students, but the opening unfortunately coincided with the covid 19 pandemic, leaving it unsuccessful.

Additionally, incoming waiver requests from kids outside of the district might be limited to prioritize those who are already enrolled. Closing waivers with the exception of seniors who are already enrolled. However, this solution may result in incoming siblings having to attend other schools which could cause certain conflicts and strain.

Adding one or two buildings, containing a total of four classrooms is supposed to help and these buildings would be able to accommodate 50 students.

Split scheduling would comprise the entire student population splitting into A and B groups. The A students would attend school in the morning, while B students would attend in the afternoon. It would provide some capacity relief but there would still be 2-4 periods in the middle of the day where all students would be on campus. Split scheduling would also impact after-school bus schedules, extracurricular activities, and the emotional state of students.

Further exploration of long-term suggestions by the EDTF will come in the spring. As a community, we must keep in mind the implications of overcrowding and the effects it has on the social and academic lives of students.

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Luka Beadnell, Graphics, Editor
Luka Beadnell Graphics and Grammar Editor This paper probably wouldn't look or read well if Luka wasn't helping.
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