Pali’s Growing Pains

Ryan Patton, Staff Writer

A spike in student enrollment combined with a decrease in teachers this year has led to an overall increase in class sizes.

The average general education class size is now 32, compared to 30 last year, according to Jeff Hartman, Director of Academic Planning.

Overall, the number of total classes offered at Pali, including Special Education, has fallen by 11, and total school enrollment has gone up by about a hundred. Nearly every subject has seen an  increase in the number of students per classroom since last year. Foreign language, technology, social science and English courses have seen the largest expansion, with some of them increasing by three or four students.

These changes will affect the method of instructing that Pali’s teachers use during class. “My largest class this year is AP Physics, which is 44, I believe, 44 frankly is too much in any sort of class, let alone AP’s,”  science teacher David Schalek said.

However, he thinks that Pali should not simply hire more teachers.

“Well, I mean this is the only time that I actually have encountered this problem in any of my classes…Because this is the only time that I have ever encountered the issue, it’s probably not really necessary for us [to try] to add another section of AP Physics or add another teacher.”

Although he now has more students in most of his classes, Schalek was confident that he could handle a more reasonable amount of students.

“For me, things are manageable at [around] 38 or 39, but there’s a big difference I’ve noticed between 38 or 39 and 44,” Schalek said. “Those five extra kids, I mean it’s much more distracting to the students that are in here, I have to raise my voice more to project it over all the students in the class, [and] it’s hard for students in the very far back of the room to be able to see the board.”