Perrysburg Schools surges in enrollment
Ainsley Sutter, Kennedy Rowley, Lucas Fiscus, Tony Cox
Portable classroom trailers are used at all four Perrysburg elementary schools (Frank, Ft. Meigs, Toth, and Woodland), as well as the Junior High building. Before the construction of Hull Prairie Intermediate (HPI), the elementary school portables were used for the 5th-grade classrooms, and PJH used them as additional classroom space, too. Now, with the 5th-6th grade students attend HPI, the portables PJH are being used as storage units, and an office.
The construction of HPI alleviated the constant need for portable classrooms in the district, but as the number of students attending Perrysburg Schools increases, portables may come back into use as a much needed temporary fix.
The district has added 882 students since 2008, making Perrysburg Schools the fourth most rapidly growing district (with 4,500 students or more) in the state of Ohio. With the growing amount of new students, space in the schools becomes a major factor to consider.
Currently, the number of students enrolled in Perrysburg High School creates concern for what the building will do once it’s reaches maximum capacity. Even now (not yet at capacity), PHS is running out of lockers and classroom space.
The ever-growing student population is adding extra classroom time to many teachers busy schedules. Several teachers who previously taught only five classes are now teaching six periods a day, leaving less time to evaluate student work.
Mr. Kevin English – who teaches AP and Honors biology and is the Head Advisor of Student Council – stated, “For me, personally, I’m teaching an extra section this year so instead of teaching five classes this year I teach 6, because of enrollment.”
English says that “as far as science goes, we are running out of space. We don’t have [enough] science classrooms.”
The lack of adequate classroom space runs further than just the science department; many teachers are losing their own classrooms and have carts to lug around to different classrooms to teach their classes.
Perrysburg’s implementation of classroom carts is not uncommon. Miss Meredith Byers – a new to English teacher to Perrysburg as of 2018 – describes similar space constraints in her previous job: “I’m used to it. I taught in New York for most of my career and we had 34 kids in a class and nobody had a classroom.” Byers also said that being on a cart does not actively affect her teaching style or methods.
Janice Ray, the Dean of Students at PHS, who previously taught science in the old high school (the current junior high) as well as the current high school building said, “In ‘89-’90 and I was at the old school and I was a traveling teacher for 12 years until they built this school. So there were traveling teacher back in ‘89-’90.”
30 years ago, PHS had traveling teachers, and today the high school still has 10 teachers who teach without classrooms.
The lack of classrooms and space has sparked the controversial conversation of building a second additional high school in Perrysburg.
Across the community, the option of splitting Perrysburg High School apart into two high schools is very unpopular, but often discussed among the public and many students.
Ray says “I know that again, that a public survey was done, and it was, the feeling was pretty animus about trying to prevent a second high school. We didn’t want to divide the community, we wanted to keep it as one and that was like from a public opinion survey.”
A second high school does not seem to be in the near future of Perrysburg; but the idea isn’t entirely unpopular among all students.
Brayden Hickerson (sophomore) says, “I think that if we’re needing [portables] here at the high school then they might as well just build another building.”
Carts are only able to help if there are enough classrooms. Portables, the trailers appear to be the next option for creating more space, regardless of the budget constricting cost of the classrooms.
Whatever the solution, something must be done soon to accommodate the growing population of Yellow Jackets.
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