This year, SIS has the biggest high school class in its history. At 439 students, compared to last year’s 428, there is an increase of 2.5 percent. While the changes may seem small overall, there are more concentrated changes in some classes, the most significant change being within the senior class, with 96 to 117 students, an increase of 21.8 percent.
“I do not know why everybody is saying that this year we have a big high school,” said Ko Yang Min, an Admissions Officer at SIS. “It is not really because of some special reason, it is more so that the rising freshman class happens to be big, and so there are just more people in high school.”
The nature of this increase is not that there are suddenly many more students, but is that last year’s large eighth grade student body moved up to freshman, which replaces last year’s relatively small senior student body. This increase in the amount of students, albeit not too significant, makes some facilities more crowded.
“The first time I realized that the student body got bigger than before was in the cafeteria,” Paul Kim (10) said. “There were so many more people crowded in the lines even when I went to the cafeteria really early. The tables are all packed up to the point that people have to wait for others to move out in order to sit down and eat.”
The college application process takes a large toll on both teachers and students alike, but with the large increase in the senior class, the problems are exemplified. Early decision, which Mr. Schneider advises students not to do, coupled with the increase in students, puts a great stress on students, inhibiting them from focusing on their regular applications, as well as focusing on grades.
“Early decision makes everyone rush the process, due to the November 1 deadline. It puts stress on the teachers—and the students. If you look at the data, it shows that it does not provide an advantage over other students,” said Mr. Schneider.
A 2.5 percent of students also mean that there is a smaller faculty to student ratio, which means that there is naturally a less personalized experience considering that the teachers can focus less on each and every student.
“Some senior only classes might have two more students or so, and a bigger class means less personal,” Mr. Schneider said. “Bigger can mean less personal attention. This extends from high school all the way up all the way to college and universities.”
Other effects of a larger school could mean higher competition for limited space. Some limited positions, such as club executive spots could be tougher to get, as well as general club. FBLA, one of the most competitive clubs at SIS, have gotten extremely competitive applications and had to be more stringent with accepting new members and returning members alike.
“The number has not increased that much, but the applications themselves by the freshman group have been really good and we had to be much more selective with accepting people, even with returning members,” said Jiwon Chung (12), FBLA executive. “This change is probably due to the higher competition this year with more students, even if there weren’t necessarily an increase in the amount of students that applied.”