Enrollment Exceeds 5,300 students
BY ASH McDANIEL
This school year most Broward County students were welcomed back to school with a decreased enrollment; however, Cypress Bay
has had an increase in students once again. There are around 5,300 students enrolled up, from the 5,000 of last year, and
the numbers are expected to rise.
Guidance Director Bob Swales and the guidance staff were the first to encounter the
recently enrolled students.
"I really think one reason for the increase is because we get a lot of students in the surrounding area from private schools,"
Mr. Swales said. "We are such a good high school and we appeal to people. Also, we have such a good reputation."
This increase of roughly 300 students from last year has added pressure on the Bay, which was already overcrowded.
"A high enrollment affects everything: security, the parking lot, the buses. We now need more classrooms, and bigger hallways,"
Principal Scott Neely said. "Our school is built to hold about 2,600 students. And the hallways, gymnasium, and cafeteria
aren't getting bigger, so it does become crowded with more students."
Along with this increase in students, the Bay has also hired 76 new teachers this year.
"I like having more students in the class," said Rena Wang, new to the Bay, from Davie Contemporary Chinese School and who
teaches Chinese. "With more students I can communicate with them more, and I love teaching, and I want as many students as
Mrs. Wang currently has a class room average of 17 students.
According to Principal Neely, the hiring of so many new teachers
includes replacements for teachers who have moved on from the Bay, but is in large part for keeping class sizes down. The
administration is also making other changes to help alleviate overcrowding, or at least make is it less of a concern.
The administration has added six portables to the annex, refurbished portables at the main campus that were serving as storage
last year, and added more teachers. Nevertheless, some students are still experiencing overcrowding problems in the classroom.
Though the average class size is 25 students, there are some classes that have more than 30 students.
"My classes are really crowded and cramped, and when you're trying to focus and there are more kids fooling around, it gets
really hard," sophomore Marne Toja said.
This high level of enrollment
has an impact on students not only in the classroom, but also in the cafeteria, gymnasium, and parking lot.
"It takes 30 minutes at least to get out of the parking lot with traffic jammed. And there are always cars blocking the way.
Last year it didn't seem this bad," senior Jessica Fuentes said.
Others acknowledge that while there may be more students it still does not interfere with the learning process.
"If you want to learn, you can do it under any conditions," senior Seth Grossman said. "It becomes more like a college class
where you have a lot of students in a class."