Greencastle-Antrim middle, high schools 'like teaching in a shoebox'
Lauren Hood's Latin class is filled to capacity. Hood has to squeeze between rows of desks that were scrunched together as she attempts to check student's work. (By Roxann Miller / September 4, 2013)
With a new school year under way, the Greencastle-Antrim School District continues to wrestle with the growing concern of how to handle an expanding student population, coupled with stagnant state funding and a tax-weary community.
When Schools Superintendent C. Gregory Hoover said “there’s no room” during last week’s Greencastle-Antrim School Board meeting, he was not exaggerating.
Students in Terri Orkwisewski’s Greencastle-Antrim High School biology classroom were packed into Room 214 like sardines.
Room 214 was originally meant for 24 students, but more than 35 students were crammed into the room on the first week of school.
“It’s about the size of my office,” high school Principal Edward Rife said.
One student sat in the front of the class on a wooden stool.
“We try to find chairs to put in there, but even when you find a chair to put in there — there is no room to put it,” Rife said.
“It’s like teaching in a shoebox,” Orkwisewski said.
Since then, Rife has moved the entire class to a larger room. But, the new space is farther from the biology lab.
Lauren Hood’s Latin class is also filled to capacity.
There are between 34 and 38 students in each of her Latin classes, Rife said.
Hood has to squeeze between rows of desks that were scrunched together as she attempted to check student’s work.
There are no empty seats in the cafeteria, Rife said.
The auditorium has seating for 1,008.
“We’re pushing the limits there, too,” Rife said.
“They renovated the high school in 1990, and we were down in numbers in 1990,” Hoover said.
Currently, there are 976 students in the high school, Rife said.
“There is just no room,” Hoover said.