The student news site of Center Hill High School.

The Pony Express

The student news site of Center Hill High School.

The Pony Express

The student news site of Center Hill High School.

The Pony Express

Will a 30% increase in students affect Center Hill students and staff?

Staphina Jones

In the 2023-2024 school year, Center Hill High School gained a 30% increase in the number of students. This has caused many changes in routines, rules, and more. This has also affected the staff, students, and parents. Will Center Hill High School still be able to sustain their A+ status?

Why is there no limit on how many students can attend CHHS?

The students in Desoto County have dramatically increased and this has caused problems within the schools’ population.

Many of the students that attend Center Hill High use friends or relatives addresses to go to school here. This has caused an increase of people riding buses, longer car rider lines, and has also created a change in the drop off/pick up location. Some would say that it is not fair to students who originally live in the school district. 

After word with the head principal of CHHS, Jason Witt, new light has been shed on what the limit is on students.

When asked why there wasn’t a cutoff for students at CHHS he responded, “It’s called Free Appropriate Public Education. We must provide for every student no matter what’s going on with them. That’s our passion. So, if they live in the Center Hill school district, they are very much welcomed here. It’s Federal law and State law that we must provide them with an education. They can enroll here.” No matter how large the population gets, Center Hill will still accept all students.

Will more bus drivers be hired?

As more students attend CHHS, the more we must worry about transportation to and from school. The more new students that need a ride home, the more overcrowded the buses become. This means students will be getting home later than usual. State law recommends that there are three to a seat for elementary kids and two to a seat for high-schoolers. Although the Center Hill High students sometimes must sit three to a seat on bus rides, it could be worse for the shuttle bus pick up/drop off routes. This is a problem that is continually gaining concern. 

Staphina Jones

How will the building adjust to the increase in students?

The more students roll in, the less space we have in classrooms. The maximum number of students that should be in a classroom is between 31-32. The average number of students in a classroom per one licensed teacher cannot exceed 40 students. Center Hill High School normally holds 30-33 students in each class. This is near the maximum number of children in a class. With the addition of more students, it has the potential to grow larger. This can bring more distractions in a classroom and more challenges for teachers. 

CHHS currently has ten teachers without classrooms. They’re called “floaters” as they teach their classes in other teachers’ rooms during their planning period. For the building to grow with the student body, CHHS will be extending A and B Halls, adding a total of eight classrooms, four in each hall.

When Witt was asked for an estimated time for completion of construction, he replied, “I think the earliest we can expect is around spring break but in reality, going to be towards the end of the year.” This helps everyone understand how much will be finished in the time frame.

On the new classrooms in A and B halls, he mentioned there would be “eight new classrooms, and one of the classrooms on A-hall is supposed to be a storm shelter-for the community.” The new number of classes will be great for the school and comfortable for students and teachers.

Construction workers cheer on students during the HOCO parade. (Staphina Jones)

What is the future for CHHS?

There is still a lot of uncertainty how the increase will affect the school, like will there be more buses coming to CHHS? With more information in the future, more questions will be answered.

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About the Contributors
Staphina Jones, Social Media Manager
Sophomore Staphina Jones is the Social Media Manager for The Pony Express and The Mustang.
Uneysti Tunstall, Staff/Reporter
Uneysti Tunstall is a staff reporter for The Pony Express and The Mustang.

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