This year, BSGE has once again added an extra stream of seventh graders. There are currently 52 twelfth graders, 62 eleventh graders, 71 tenth graders, 94 ninth graders, 98 eighth graders and 107 7th graders. In total, 475 students attend this school. Last year, BSGE had 100 seventh graders, also in four streams. There were only three streams of 7th graders each of the past five school years. In order to accomodate the extra 7th grade streams, the 11th grade streams were shrunk from three to two the past two years. The current 12th graders’ streams were easier to shrink since they had so few kids but this year’s 11th grade is much bigger and led to unusually large classes.
Why BSGE is accepting more students when it is so small? One of the main reasons is that BSGE gets more money the more students it has. Another reason is that the school allowed more seventh graders this year because students in the school leave after 8th grade by going to other high schools. In the past, BSGE has admitted new students in 9th grade to keep its enrollement by to make up for the number of students who transferred however with larger 7th grade streams, BSGE will not need to admit as many students in 9th grade.
Students in BSGE understand this situation. One tenth grader, Safiya Noel ‘15, said “There are a lot of kids in this building, we have to share lockers but I understand why there are so many kids. More students [mean] more money. It would have been better to have three streams. I think that it could work out.” This shows that some people do not really mind the change and they have a sense as to why BSGE is adding more students. On the other hand, some students are unhappy about the having so many students. Janice Eng ‘16, a ninth grader, said, “There are too many people. It is hard to get up the stairs because it’s too crowded. You have to wait because there are so many people.” The increase in students has caused the school to seem much smaller. Students have a difficult time traveling around the school. This shows that having a lot of kids in BSGE can have a negative impact beyond more crowded classses.
There is a positive side to having more kids in the building however. Our school can share its program and strengths with many more students. Also with more kids we will have a greater number of people to contribute to our school community and classes where we often do group work and have discussions. More people can mean more ideas.