At BHS, just not enough to go around
Editor’s Note: Paul Moore is a senior at Blaine High School. His opinion was written as part of his senior project, a requirement for graduating from high school.
Without a doubt the Blaine school district facilities are too small to accommodate the growing number of enrolled students. The high school was originally designed to sustain 400 students. However, the current number of enrolled students is over 700 and rising.
The high school has already been forced to commandeer two classrooms in the middle school. Also, the special education program is held in the middle school’s old locker room due to the lack of space.
Craig Foster is one of the teachers using the middle school rooms. While he is a teacher who is used to being on the move, he has no space specifically devoted to his classes. Any error in his organization causes huge problems. Staying organized and moving around all day is an impressive feat, but his class could greatly benefit from a dedicated space.
Don Sayegh, a science teacher at the high school, says that the science lab is entirely inadequate in size. Sometimes his class has up to 32 students while the room has desks for only 28, and even at 28 the room is packed. Without enough space in the classroom, projects have to be taken into the lab, which is used by several classes at once and is not big enough for one class.
Teachers have to schedule and plan around each other and sometimes can’t get into the lab when needed. Projects have to be set up at the beginning of the class and taken down at the end so other classes can use the lab as well.
Between setting up and taking down the equipment, there is little time to accomplish and learn anything. It also makes it nearly impossible to do labs that require several days to complete.
Not only are the academic facilities over crowded, but the physical education facilities are lacking as well. The locker rooms cannot accommodate the number of students in PE and the gym is barely big enough. The weight training room cannot handle the typical PE class size.
Seeing an open weight set is a rarity in any of the weight training classes. It’s not uncommon for there to be up to four students grouped together on one weight set. It’s really hard to get a decent workout in class.
“There just isn’t enough equipment or space to go around.” Says Azad Mallak, a senior taking weight training.
The teachers are certainly strained under these conditions, but the students are the ones who really suffer.
With classes so large it’s rare for a teacher to be able to answer all the student’s questions and get around to each individual who needs help. One-on-one time is brief at best. The hallways of the school are also a big problem for students.
Getting around from class to class is a battle, packing into narrow hallways, squeezing past one another and dodging other students digging through their lockers all at the same time. It’s a miracle anyone can get to class on time.
This is but a short list of problems at the school. The maximum capacity has been exceeded and the students’ education is suffering as a result is without question.
Enrollment numbers have increased dramatically in recent years and will continue to do so. It is critical that new facilities are built before the doors at Blaine school district burst open.