History teacher Peter Reilly looks up from his desk on the morning of Sept. 1 to see a few new students crowded around him. He asks them if they know anyone in the class. They tell him no, and an “ice breaker” game commences.
Reilly, along with many other teachers at DHS, has had some students transferring in and out of his classes and due to the creation of more World Civilization periods for sophomores.
“[DHS] school had more students this year than expected,” counselor Courtenay Tessler said.
The school received funding to hire two full time teachers and a part time teacher. The funding was to be used in whichever department counselors saw most required extra classes.
Counselors found that many World Civilizations classes were overfilled and wanted to create smaller classroom sizes because they felt it would benefit sophomores. A part time teacher was hired to teach a new set of World Civilizations classes up until a full time teacher took the post on Sept. 17.
Sophomore Rika Fields transferred into the World Civilizations class with temporary teacher Pete Bennetti. However, Fields was indifferent to her change because the change happened so early in the school year.
There are less than 20 students in Fields’ new class. Bennetti offered points for old class work from those 20 students, as well as for the students in his other classes.
Sophomore Maya Salcido White had a different take on her switch into Bennetti’s class because she liked her old World Civilizations class.
“It didn’t really bother me that the class size was large,” Salcido White said. “In my new World Civ class I didn’t really know anyone and it was just kind of hard to adjust to.”
Tessler believes teachers are happy about the schedule changes because she thinks it is more engaging for a teacher to teach a small class.
“It’s been a really positive thing,” Tessler said.
However, many World Civilizations classes are either the same size as they were before the changes. Some classes even grew.
“It’s really big. A lot of people just randomly transferred in last week,” sophomore Mo Xu said.
Before the schedule changes, two students were forced to sit at the two spare tables left around the room in Reilly’s first period class. Afterward, his class sizes did not significantly reduce in size. Due to the schedule changes, Reilly gained almost the same amount of students whom he had originally lost in his first period class. However, students no longer have to sit at the spare tables.
But for Reilly it doesn’t matter what size his class is, as long as he is able to get his message across to students.
“I can manage a classroom with 80 kids,” Reilly said.
Although Reilly is indifferent to class size, he was still a little upset when he saw that students he had already made a connection with had left his class.
Reilly has done his best to accommodate new students in his classroom and is still giving them makeup time, as he thinks it is necessary to make his students feel more comfortable in their classroom environments.