Another large freshman class enrolls at SHS

September 13, 2017 — by Esha Lakhotia and Michael Zhang
Photo by Ava Hooman

Freshmen officers Emily Choi and Arnav Mungal discuss during freshmen night.

As students poured into the gym for the first rally on Sept. 1, the sheer size of the class of 2021 became apparent. A sea of green filled almost three-quarters of the underclassmen side, as loud “Let’s go, freshmen!” chants echoed through the gym, leaving juniors and seniors to wonder whether they would be overwhelmed by underclass numbers.

With 336 new freshmen attending the school, it is no wonder that campus facilities, such as the parking lots and the quad tables during lunch, are becoming more crowded. Though short of last year’s 360 freshmen, the class is the second in a row that is unexpectedly bigger than what school officials were expecting.

Because class sizes seem to be stay large, it may seem to follow the Redwood Middle School is also growing in terms of enrollment, but that is not true, said principal Paul Robinson.

Instead, the unexpectedly large classes result from students who come to the high school from other districts or private schools. Many of these students attended private middle schools like St. Andrews or Harker, where they had hoped to get a head start by taking advanced classes.

For instance, freshman Alan Zu attended Argonaut, transferred to BASIS Independent Silicon Valley in San Jose for middle school and decided to return to Saratoga High for his last four year.

Zu said that he decided to return because he thinks Saratoga High has a better community and curriculum than BASIS. When comparing the two schools, Zu said that Saratoga is “more coordinated” than BASIS in terms of its teachers and school activities.

In addition to resident students like Zu who transferred from private middle schools, many more freshmen transferred from outside the area. According to Robinson, a total of over 90 new families from around the world enrolled one or more students in at the school this year.

Class secretary Arnav Mangal and the rest of class officers see advantages to such a large freshman class. They hope that the large number of freshmen will contribute to greater attendance at events and fundraisers.

So far, the administration has not run into any major challenges concerning the size of the class of 2021.

“It’s better to be growing than shrinking in enrollment,” Robinson said. “It means more students to serve, which we’re excited about.”

 

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