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Increase in student population brings new issues

During+pep+rallies%2C+bleachers+are+often+over+populated.+
During pep rallies, bleachers are often over populated.

During pep rallies, bleachers are often over populated.

Lisette Harris

Lisette Harris

During pep rallies, bleachers are often over populated.

Jason Wood, Staff Reporter

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K-Park hallways seem more crowded this year, a lot more than freshman year, thought Connor Hughes, as he brushed by throngs of people on the first day of school.

Despite Hughes’ impression, there are only 490 freshman this year — 22 more freshman than last year and nothing compared to the first freshman class of Kingwood Park in 2007, which had 1,050 students.

However, the student population is growing. This year, it’s on the brink off maxing out with more than 400 students in each grade for the first time in school history.

K-Park is one of the smallest high schools schools in Humble ISD, but the challenge is not the size of the school; it’s the size of the population.

Kingwood Park was built as originally freshman campus intended for the students going into other high schools in the Humble ISD, such as Kingwood High School. In 2007, however, the school was expanded in size and labeled as a full-blown high school with a maximum capacity of 2,000 people.

In 2007, this wasn’t a problem with a  student population of only 1,484 students. This allowed plenty of room for all the students and staff. However this year, with a total of 1,830 students, there is less room to move around freely.

One of the biggest changes that comes with growth is the hallways.

“When I walk through the halls during passing periods,” sophomore Isaac Sanchez said. “There are just so many people now that I feel almost like it’s harder to breathe.”

The halls aren’t the only thing affected by the growth in students, classrooms are affected as well.

For the past wwo to three years, English teacher Michelle Neel had close to 150 students. This year, she has 170.

“It may not seems like much,” Neel said, “but everything is affected from being able to move around the classroom to help students to the extra hours of grading that is needed.

The increase in student population can also make it harder to get a good class rank, said sophomore Brett Janik. However, on the bright side, he noted, it is easier to get in the top 10 percent.

The effects go even further than the classroom. They also affect the activities of the the school.

Many sports and clubs are growing larger in numbers every year.

For the wrestling team, this was a great thing, said head wrestling coach Jeff Knight. Last season, the team had 50 members. This year, Knight will be able to field a full girls team for the first time.

“We feel that wrestling is gaining in popularity,” he said. “We hope some of the new students will gravitate towards our program.”

In other cases though, such as the girls soccer team, it is bringing up challenges for the program.

The team has seen a slight rise in tryouts, resulting in an increase in multi-sport athletes and more competition for roster spots, said Jess White, the head girls soccer coach.

“It also requires that we are very thorough with the player choices we make,” she said, “making sure we have plenty of opportunities for each individual to showcase their abilities.”

Principal Lisa Drabing says the growth has not been a problem. Instead, it is a positive.

“More and more students are trying to get into our school every year, which isn’t a problem,” Drabing said. “It’s actually a compliment. It shows that the more we grow, our level of excellence and well-organized work stays as good as the year before.”

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