by Amanda Hills and Samantha Libraty
Only about a month into the school year, 111 new students had transferred to this school from different districts, according to guidance department head Beth Swederskas.
Last year, Swederskas said there were 142 students who transferred into this school system, but that number was tallied at the end of the school year, which makes this year’s enrollment seem unusually high.
Although Swederskas noted that “all new students add to our community,” she acknowledged some obstacles the increased enrollment has created.
She said that guidance counselors now have more students, and therefore have heavier workloads. Swederskas said that it is “challenging to get everyone in the right placements in a way that is also doing right by the students.” In addition, it is now more competitive for students to get into their desired electives, and it is more difficult to assign lockers, according to Swederskas.
Ninth grade faced the greatest influx of transfer students, Swederskas said.
As a result of the new students, the school hired a Spanish teacher to teach an additional section of Spanish I, rather than creating fewer, larger sections. World language department head Nancy Marrinucci said that by the summer, there was already a waiting list for the class. “The demand was unanticipated,” she said.
Chemistry teacher Sangeet Srikanth said, “I have about 10 new students in my three honors classes, which is an increase from the three classes I had last year.
Many of these new students have come from different states and countries and private schools. Swederskas added that she suspects that because of the rough economy, many families transferred their children from private to public schools.
“This is an excellent school system and one of the top schools to consider,” said Swederskas.
This year’s enrollment may continue to increase, and the number of new students could rise higher than last year’s 142.