Decreased Enrollment

Decreased+Enrollment

Zoe Harms, Editor

Because of a decrease in enrollment, some significant changes will affect the upcoming school year. There have been discussions about cutting courses and possibly transferring some teachers. 

“Declining enrollment plays a big impact in staffing on campus and is tied to student enrollment,” Principal Kevin Wan said. “Anytime there’s a declining enrollment that creates a trend then that leads to potential reductions and in terms of staffing. So that would be the immediate concern.”

This trend is not only widespread in our school district, but other states are experiencing the same issues. Only a tiny percentage of the schools in the country are experiencing increased enrollment. 

“Class size would be reduced [because] you don’t have as many students in the classes,” Wan said. “As the enrollment continues to decline, there may be the potential of certain opportunities that students have that may be reduced.”

For example, there may be three or four periods for an elective this year, but there may only be one class period next year, or it could be cut completely. At this point, a class confirmed as being cut, unless circumstances change, is woodshop. 

“A lot of the courses that we offer here are all based on student interest,” Wan said. “So if there’s a particular course that has been able to fit and moving forward can’t fit, we will not be able to offer that particular course.”

The possibility of this may be worrisome because of the mandatory A-G requirements. In addition, a switched schedule might mean you don’t get all the required classes, which may hugely impact the incoming seniors for the credit requirements. 

“What we’re trying to do is during the period where the assistant principal of instruction oversees and puts together the master schedule,” Wan said, “… would inform the students that the course is no longer offered and if they have an alternative course in mind to help put together their class schedule for the upcoming year.”

There are many reasons why enrollment is dropping so drastically. The district believes it has something to do with the living expenses in our community, as well as the aftershock from the pandemic. 

Living in Silicon Valley is very expensive, and because of this, many people are moving out of the area and going to places like Arizona or Nevada. In previous years, people would move in to normalize that, but now no one is moving into the Bay Area. 

“We have families moving out, and then we have families that are unable to move ahead,” Wan said. “And if you have families who are unable to move in, you don’t have the number of students that you can have to go to schools, and that’s really evident in Santa Clara County.”

Also, because of the pandemic, there haven’t been many enrollments in kindergarten and elementary schools, so most parents are deciding to do online schooling or homeschooling. To fix this issue, the district is looking for affordable housing. 

“We have adults that are also having kids later, or they’re unable to afford to raise a kid and therefore electing not to have one,” Wan said. “I’m not sure that any solutions can immediately address this decline.”

There is also a teacher shortage which ultimately makes class sizes more significant to balance the teacher-student ratio. 

It has already been confirmed that a life science teacher is leaving, and an anonymous source says that the school will be cutting at least one teacher from nearly every department. With the number of cuts and an ongoing trend, there is a real possibility in the near to not-so-distant future.