Every year Mountain Vista’s freshman class grows in size, thus outnumbering every class before them. This year’s freshman class is made up of 594 students, but what most people don’t think about is how this growing number impacts Vista as a whole.
With the increase of the students attending Vista every year, the hallways become more crowded and uncomfortable. Walking through the halls often resembles sardines all squished together into a small tin can.
With the addition of more students, the faculty and staff around the school have had to make adjustments in order to meet every student’s needs. As the growing number of 2,262 Golden Eagles increases every year, the school has had to hire more teachers and kitchen staff, counselors have less wiggle room when dealing with elective requests, and the school has hired more security officers in order to ensure safety throughout the school.
“Class sizes have increased slightly this year but we had planned for that in our hiring and staff size starting back in 2015-16,” Principal Michael Weaver said. “Obviously more kids does compound some of the supervision and space issues that occur when trying to meet the needs of 2,262 kids.”
Although many changes have been made to match the growing student population, many issues haven’t been addressed. Hallways haven’t grown, lunch lines wrap around the school and the drop-off/pick-up traffic has become unbearable.
“I definitely notice that everything takes more time. Like in the hallways I don’t have time to stop and talk with my friends on the way to class, I have to leave earlier for school and shorten my lunch to be able to get back to school in time to find a parking spot,” Evi Patterson 12, said.
With the size difference and changes going on around our school, many students wonder if the increase of Eagles is beneficial for our school. However, without the mass of the students, Vista would not be able to run efficiently.
“Basically our enrollment numbers are the foundation of a lot of things,” Weaver said. “ Numbers drive Open Enrollment requests, Site-Based Budgets, Staffing and services. It then will impact master schedule as we try to meet the needs and find classes/seats for every student.
In order to operate at 90-100 percent efficiency, Vista’s current maximum capacity is sitting at 2,340 students. If Vista were to outgrow this number, mobiles could be added in order to fit more students. Although Vista is the largest high school in Douglas County, many aren’t far behind. Chaparral High School is the closest school with a total of 2,233 students. The lowest school population is Ponderosa High School with only 1,340 students.
Every year Vista has grown by the hundreds and has come a long way from it’s opening in 2001-02 with a total of 340 Golden Eagles, including only six seniors. With the passing of each school year, the student population continues to grow and Vista’s passing periods begin to look more and more similar to those sardines in a can.