Staff Editorial: Overcrowded campus

The overpopulation of school has become a topic of conversation among students that often turns into complaints about the packed hallways and bridgeways during passing periods.The general consensus is that crowds of students make it difficult to navigate through campus in between periods, causing distractions during classes.

As the City of Irvine continues to develop, a growing student population continues to be an issue. Should our school’s attendance boundaries be expanded to include more students? Or is it better to limit the amount of students in order to better accommodate the current population?

The latter would delight the current population on campus and create an easier lifestyle at school. The ratio of students to teachers would lessen, allowing staff to focus on individual students and create a more effective lesson plan for them. Relocating students to other high schools in the city could accomplish this.

The new high school, Portola High, is located north of the Orange County Great Park in Irvine. The campus is close in proximity to newly developed communities and better accommodates several of the students that already occupy Woodbridge High. New neighborhoods are continuously being built near the school, resulting in a growing population.

The design of Portola High encompasses 42 acres of land, according to John Pehrson, principal of Portola High. This is almost double the amount of land our current campus occupies, however, Portola High is only housing about 250 freshman students compared to our growing 2,456. Allowing one group of students to revel in plenty of space while another school is burdened by the small space in an ever-growing community of students could put students at a disadvantage. It seems illogical to wait four years to have an equal distribution of students among Irvine high schools while Portola High has plenty of space.

However, there are several middle school students, and families, who believe Woodbridge High would best accommodate their learning experience. Woodbridge prides itself in having a balance between academics, arts, and athletics.

A proposition to fix this problem is to add more portables to accommodate an influx of students. These new portables would accompany those already located near the A building, housing the majority of science classrooms. However, these portables are noticeably separated from the rest of the school and do not provide the same experience as a normal classroom in both size and bathroom proximity.

The Woodbridge High mission statement is, “to provide the highest quality educational experiences that can be envisioned in order to empower all students with skills, knowledge and values necessary to meet the challenges of a changing world and to become contributing members of society.” With an overcrowded school, it would be difficult to ensure the quality of each individual student along with the skills and values they would receive during their four years in high school.

Welcoming new students to our school is beneficial, however, when it hinders the learning environment for present students we need to take it in our hands to eliminate distractions. By distributing students across Irvine high schools, our campus could become less congested and distracting.