Are there too Many Students at Fairview?
There are 2181 students at Fairview, and this number has increased every year since the 2010 to 2011 school year.
According to Fairview’s registrar, Vickie Rishel, more than 100 incoming Freshmen have been waitlisted to get into Fairview every year for the past several years.
“We’ve had record numbers of people open enrolling to come here,” said Rishel.
Ms. Rishel said the school doesn’t usually have any room to accept upperclassmen.
“It gets kind of tough after ninth grade,” Rishel said. “But not impossible.”
Even though 100 or more incoming Freshmen are being put on the waitlist, teachers at Fairview, like Thomas Oviatt, who is a Spanish and biology teacher, have as many as 5 classes with many students.
“The problems are with the numbers, and as far as us being able to individually meet the needs of the kids,” said Oviatt.
According to the Boulder Valley School District agreement between the Board of Education and the employees, teachers of grades nine through twelve are not allowed be given more than 755 students a week. This number excludes physical education, music, and study hall classes.
Oviatt says that he usually has anywhere between 160 and 170 students.
Oviatt said that the “overwhelming” amount of grading and paperwork that comes as a result of many students is another problem he faces.
Oviatt’s ideal class size ranges from 18 to 24 students.
“To be highly efficient, to feel like I was doing the job that I know I could do with kids, I would say two to 3 classes max of that number,” Oviatt said, adding that this is “unrealistic” and “impractical.”
“In a perfect world I would be able to handle that case load and still be able to stay on top of grading, give accurate feedback, have more individualized attention, design projects that everyone can do at the same time that aren’t so overwhelming to try to produce in large numbers,” Oviatt said.
The amount of students at Fairview affects students differently than teachers.
“There are sometimes when I realize that I haven’t met anybody in my class, and it’s like ‘woah, it’s a class full of seniors and I know none of them’,” said Senior Chloe Peterson.
Peterson likes the size of Fairview’s student body, but she thinks that the Freshmen that “just stand around in big clumps” create the impression that there are more students present in the school than there actually are.
“We have to get craftier when we move through the hallways for sure,” Oviatt said.
He agrees that the school does feel more crowded than in past years, but “not unmanageable.”