Population 679

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Population 679

Matthew Qunitos, Writer

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The incoming class of 2022 boasts a class size of 679 students. This is the largest freshman class in school history.
“The freshman class trend line shows long term growth, but this is a bubble, with the numbers falling back in line to the trend next year,” Park Ginder, principal, said.
According to the school’s data, the large class size is an anomaly and it is predicted that class sizes will trend downwards next year.
The larger class size seen this year is a departure from the typical annual enrollment of 600 students, however, administration shared that this year’s influx of students was expected and planned for based on enrollment numbers from last year’s eighth grade graduating class. The administration has accommodated this larger class by hiring an additional freshmen biology teacher and expanding class sizes in Seminar, PE, Choir and Band to maintain the 28 student capacity for academic classrooms.
“(The larger seminar classes) means more students are choosing to use this time to focus on homework, and get help as needed with the use of our peer tutors and other resources such as the math room,” Alyssa Braman, freshman counselor, said.
While to some a larger class size may be a negative experience, a larger class size allows for a larger curated curriculum for students, a curriculum that smaller schools cannot take advantage of. Higher student enrollment numbers will not only lead to a more diverse curriculum will also enhance extracurricular availability.
“More students means more opportunities for students and teachers to connect and build relationships,” Braman said. “We hope that the Class of 2022 brings great things to Homestead by getting involved and sharing their passions.”
An unfortunate side effect of the population boom however, is the increase in hallway traffic. This patience-testing dilemma is encountered by most all students. The traffic is particularly heavy among the main front hallway and smaller hallway intersections leading to the Freshmen Academy. These hallways jams increase student tardiness, limit bathroom usage and cause aggressive “hall rage” unbecoming of students and staff.
“The hallway traffic makes it hard for me to get to class on time,” Madeline Emenhiser, a freshman struggling with crowded hallways, said.
Contrary to popular thought, plans for the renovation or rebuilding of Homestead have not been affected by this year’s larger freshmen class, as it is not indicative of an extensive community change.
“All things influence a potential remodel or renovation project, but we’ve been tracking this class and all others for years,” Ginder said. “This bubble didn’t push the decision one direction or the other.”
The school board has yet to finalize a decision for Homestead’s future, so with the construction plans still uncertain, the community is still awaiting the fate of the school building.

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