Since the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year, both students and teachers at Huntington Park High School have been dealing with issues in regard to class sizes.
The sizes of classes have led to a disruption in the learning environment of students while also affecting teachers’ instruction. As students arrive at class, some find that there is no place for them to sit since every desk and seat is already taken. Meanwhile, teachers find that they are not as efficient as they could be due to the overwhelming amount of students in their classes.
“When you start putting more people in a room than you have space for, it becomes a learning barrier,”said Mr. Bonsteel, Social Studies Teacher.
Currently, the maximum class size for senior classes is 39 students and 33 for Magnet classes as stated by UTLA. While there is a limit as to how many students each class can hold, some have been exceeding the limit while other classes only have a few students. In the previous school year, while classes still seemed large, it was not as overcrowded compared to this year’s class sizes. Last year, there was better preparation in regard to the classes, to ensure that they did not exceed the size limit by a large degree.
Students have found it difficult to focus and work on their assignments. They find that smaller classes would be more suitable for their learning environment where finding a place to sit would be the least of their worries. They also notice how difficult it is to individually gain instruction as teachers do not have the time to attend to every single student. Some of them even had to switch out of their class due to the excessive amount of students there.
Meanwhile, other students cannot take the class they may desire. Teachers are having just as hard of a time trying to handle the number of students they have. There were times when they had to borrow chairs from other classes in order to seat their own students. Although seating is important, teachers do not find it easy to divide their attention among forty or more students. There is only so much a teacher can do.
“My English class is overfilling with students because many people want to take it but there is not enough space,”said Destiny Garcia, Senior.
Every year, according to Bonsteel, there are master schedules that are created to generally give information about the classes and their layout, along with additional information. It allows faculty to determine what subjects each teacher will teach and how the students will fit into each class. However, there were technical issues regarding the scheduling which caused class sizes to vary.
In attempts to address this issue, they are trying to balance the number of students in each class. Some students have been switched out of classes and put into different ones, in hopes that it would lessen the number of students in an overly full class. Although changes are being made, it causes students to have to adjust to new classmates and possibly new teachers. Suddenly being placed in a new class after weeks of instruction can make one feel out of place. This practically breaks the continuity between students and teachers.
Class sizes will always be a big factor when it comes to schools. Whether there are an exceedingly large number of students or very few students in a class, they all have different effects on the students and teachers. As changes are being made, hopefully, students and staff begin to comfortably settle into the school year.
“We’ve been opening other classes such as an extra Spanish and English class to lower the sizes in other classes. Although, I wish the class sizes were a bit smaller, like having 25 kids in a class instead of 30-40 so that they could get a better education,”stated Mr. Espinosa, 9th Grade Counselor.
Written by Proof Reader, Melissa Sanchez
Photos credits Spartan Shield