Where are our students?


Sumin Lim, Staff Writer

While Monte Vista has faced the problem of large class sizes for years, there are still classes that remain under-enrolled this year. Small class size can be a blessing or curse depending on the nature of the class.

These classes are under-enrolled for several reasons including lack of popularity or knowledge of the class.

This year, the Publications class, formerly known as Yearbook, has struggled from the sudden lack of students. Last year, they had a solid twenty staff members in that class, but this year they only have twelve staff members plus four supporting members.

Publications’ new teacher, Ms. Jennie Drummond, believes the change in the class name may have been a contributing reason for the lack of students.

The shortage of staff members have been tough on the Publications class and has put more pressure on them to come out with the yearbook Monte Vista students know and love.

“Students are spending a lot of their own time on it,” Drummond said.

Because of the significant lack of students, the members of the Yearbook staff have been working five or six jobs when they should only be doing two or three.

“It’s been really difficult,” senior editor-in-chief, Mark Phillip Buesa said. “A lot of the people this are new and we have to teach them everything. We’re basically starting from scratch.”

However, Buesa says because of the lack of students, he had to spend more time on the yearbook, resulting in a more personalized approach to the process. He believes the yearbook this year will be of better quality than previous ones.

Though classes like Yearbook struggle with the small number of students, Mrs. Alison Perruso finds that the quality of her class is much higher with a smaller number of students.

In the history department, Mrs. Perruso, the teacher of the new second semester Vietnam Era class, believes that the small number of students enhances the quality of the class. There are only seventeen students who signed up for this new semester long course.

“[I can] personalize the class to what they’re [the students] are interested in,” she said.

Mrs. Perruso along with her students have also noticed that class discussions are much more efficient.

“In a smaller class, when we have Socratic seminars, it’s easy to see who isn’t talking and invite them into the conversation,” said senior Oluwatomi Tunrarebi.

She believes that the reason for the unpopularity is because it is a new class this year.  In addition, this class is only for one semester so it is hard to pair it with another single semester elective.

The only cons of having a small number of students for Perruso is that it is harder to balance student voices during class. Also, she believes it could be unfair for teachers that have to teach a greater number of students than she does.

There are many pros and cons to having such a small number of students, ultimately, the class dynamic and course will decide if a small class is beneficial or not.