The Growth of Overcrowded Schools


Roman Levashov

OVERCROWDED SCHOOLS Over-crowdedness in schools has accumulated over time, but it has recently become a growing issue. Ultimately, the reduction of over-crowdedness in schools is dependent on the district board members.

Ashlesha Mishra, Staff Writer

Overcrowded schools have now become a controversial topic, though the subject was rarely debated before. All around the state, there are schools with more students than the school was built for. This includes Issaquah High School as well. As time advances, hallways seem to fill up faster. The abundance of families relocating into a specific area is leading to overcrowded schools.

          Currently, according to Public School Reviews, “Issaquah High School’s student population of 2,329 students has grown by 14% over five school years.” This is a huge change in just a few years and students and staff are affected in various ways. Currently, a total of 2,516 students attend IHS. This becomes harder for counselors to satisfy all the students’ course selection choices when there are so many people and only a certain number of students allowed per class. This also causes there to be blocked hallways leading to the cafeteria and other places in the building to become a tight fit.

          As for seniors, with so many people only in high school, choices narrow down when it comes to colleges. Therefore, as more and more students occupy and become members of a high school, one must begin to think of multiple courses, college and career choices. Senior Shashank Rao said, “Each college has a different size, so you can choose which type of school suits you best when you apply. These college class sizes are usually fixed. As more students apply from high schools, the acceptance rate goes down.” The abundance of applications that are sent to each college is resulting in a decreased acceptance rate of the number of into specific colleges.

This over-crowdedness not only affects seniors, but juniors, sophomores, and freshmen as well! Junior Clara Strassell said, “I do think that IHS is a crowded school and if there was not a Running Start, [a Washington state program that allows high school students to earn credits toward the high school at a local college campus] course offered, then it would be even more crowded. Unless we are willing to give up money meant for sports, after school clubs, and extracurricular activities for construction of a new building, we have to be content with what we have.” In addition to this, there is no room to add more buildings to our campus. Thanks to the running start courses, many upperclassmen are outside the building for parts of the day, making the building less crowded to get through. As some may know, Pacific Cascade Middle School was a former freshman campus. According to The Seattle Times, “With the board’s decision, the freshman campus will become a middle school by fall 2009. That same year, work will be completed in rebuilding Issaquah High School and remodeling Skyline High School. After the work is complete, those high schools will increase capacity to about 1,850 students each, enough to accommodate ninth-graders and potential growth.” The district had waited to convert Pacific Cascade to a middle school after using it as a freshman campus, due to the rebuilding of the two major high schools at the time to accommodate for the increase in students. Although the size of the school and permitted capacity had been increased, both freshman Kelsey Osburn and sophomore Surya Bollapragada mentioned their experiences of too many students being here. They explained that classrooms’ hallways were being “jam-packed” and at lunch, being able to find a table was never a guarantee.

While the education is wonderful, the issue of over-crowdedness can take away from one’s experience. A review by a former Issaquah High student described their experience at this school. According to Niche, the student wrote, “‘I liked the kind staff and students at Issaquah High where everyone was very welcoming and approachable. I love the gorgeous campus and the helpfulness of the teachers. I would like it if Issaquah High was bigger because it is already a bit overcrowded, but overall, I enjoyed Issaquah High.’”

     Overall, the problem of over-crowdedness in schools is now leading to the construction of more schools. As per current plans, the Issaquah Education Board is contemplating whether to add more schools to evenly separate students. An article on the Issaquah School District website stated, “Voters overwhelmingly passed our 2016 bond measure, providing a means and a mandate to add student capacity to the Issaquah School District, where schools are already overcrowded and we continue to anticipate extraordinary enrollment growth.” As of now, the district is waiting to build another high school due to the property being in a lawsuit. It is estimated that in about three years, a new high school should be built and started. The district is discussing possible solutions to the growing problem of over-crowdedness in schools, hopefully, they will take action soon.