Classroom population upsizes, students reacts

Changes in student population size this year are affecting how students learn.

More students than expected by FCPS enrolled at Marshall this year.

Principal Jeffrey Litz confirmed that the estimated 2,047 student population is now 2,107, causing some classrooms to become packed.

For students like sophomore Loren Baldwin, the change in class size has been substantial.

“My study hall has a ton of people, because I’m taking gym online,” Baldwin said. “Some people don’t have a chair—they have to sit on the ground.”

Despite this, other classes haven’t seen much of an increase.

“I don’t think I’ve really noticed much of a change myself,” senior Saemee Kim said.

Freshman Nikayla Gerasimas agreed but said when class populations are larger, they can be disruptive.

“If somebody starts talking, [the teacher] doesn’t really tell [them] to be quiet,” she said. “With smaller class sizes, if somebody is talking or getting distracted, they’re like, ‘Okay, let’s focus up.’”

Still, Baldwin said the larger class sizes can sometimes lead to better learning.

“In some classes, if there’s more people you have more room for discussions,” she said. “If there are [fewer] people, there’s a greater chance they all share the same view on topics and your education, and your learning can get better if you can hear different sides.”

There are 40 students in senior Barkot Biniyam’s Physical Education class.

Biniyam said she has noticed a difference in behavior for teachers with large class sizes.

“One thing that I noticed is that teachers have to focus on a larger number of students,” Biniyam said. “Therefore, each student would not be getting as much attention from the teacher as they ideally should be during the class.”

Still, Biniyam said she remains undecided on whether classroom sizes are an issue or not.

“Personally, I can’t see the difference for me,” Biniyam said. “But I can see kids who are struggling through it and who may be affected by larger class sizes.”