Class size overwhelms students and teachers

Photo by Abby Kousouris

Emma Bowen

     Returning to school from summer vacation students were excited to start off their year and get back into the swing of things. After the first day of classes many students were left with the question “Why are class sizes so big?”

     In February when students request classes, Mr. Jira makes up the number of classes and how many students go in them. In a perfect world, if 138 students signed up for AP Psychology and there were four AP Psychology classes, 34 kids would be in each class. What makes the classes get larger is that over the summer students change their minds. They realize they need a certain class, or won’t be able to handle a class, so they drop it and try to get into a different class. So if eight students over the summer decide they want to be in AP Psychology, each class size will go up to 36 students from 34.

     Hereford accommodates to its 1,305 students needs. According to BCPS Standards a class size can range to anywhere between 15-33 students. However, if more students than 33 need to be placed in a class the school system can do that. The largest class at Hereford is 38 students, and that is AP Calculus. Class sizes can also vary depending on the popularity or demand for a class. Last year, in AP World History the class sized averaged at about 38 kids per class, but this year it’s 23. It simply is not as popular this year as it was last year.

     There are varied opinions about the sizes of classes at Hereford. Many students think that teachers may not have complete control of the learning environment. There are a variety of students whose personalities can create disturbances. Ally Loverde (12) disagrees. She prefers large classes because she thinks people focus more in a larger environment. Tyler Wolfe (12) said that he personally likes the larger classes because he doesn’t like having to answer a lot of questions, but he says in smaller classes you can have a lot more fun and students are able to learn more things because they can’t easily blend in with the other students. Mr. Peter Imhoff, who teaches AP World History, says he “prefers small classes…but doesn’t mind larger classes because Hereford students are so well behaved.”

     Larger classes are more manageable at Hereford. It may be claustrophobic, or sometimes distracting but, the administration wants everyone to be in classes they think will benefit them in the long run.