Photo provided by Ms. Su
At Cam High, students and teachers alike have noticed an abnormal amount of class changes in the 2018-2019 school year compared to previous years.
The primary reason for these schedule changes is due to class size. In some classes there are too few or too many students enrolled, so counselors pull and add students in an attempt to even out the amount of students in each period.
Some students can be moved from a class without notice due to an overload of people. According to an agreement made by OUHSD and the Oxnard Federation of Teachers, there should be a maximum class size of 38 students. A class that exceeds the maximum amount of students can lead to a loss of instruction time as well as the creation of a liability issue.
Mr. Kevin Buddhu, English teacher, said, “We’re supposed to be serving students but having over 45 [students] through weeks on end, in very hot weather, serves no one.”
In response to an email, Ms. Connie Su, chemistry honors teacher, said, “Having more than 38 students in chemistry lab can be dangerous. It makes monitoring much more difficult.”
Classes with a low student count are also affected. If a class does not achieve the minimum requirement of 20 students, the school will dissolve it. Ms. Marisa Stuteville, counselor, said, “The district and the union will collapse a class that’s below 20 students. And that’s because they’re saying, ‘well, can’t we just put those kids in another class and then open up another section…?'”
Prior to this school year, students were expected to meet with their counselors to discuss classes for the next year. Now, many students who originally enrolled in Advanced Placement (AP) and honors courses have moved to a lower level. This caused the amount of college preparation (CP) classes on campus to increase, and AP and honors teachers are having to drop AP classes in order to take on more CP classes.
“Some of the big issues that we’re having right now are that there’s not enough of college prep sections and the classes in AP and honors are too low. So, then, we get the collapsing of [AP] classes and you get the opening of college prep classes,” said Stuteville.
Some students that were forced to switch their schedules are upset over the matter.
“It made me pretty angry and kind of stressed out that I would have to start with a whole new teacher,” said Donny Robbins, junior. “It made my schedule a lot harder than the original. I really liked my first history teacher because the style of the class is more suited for me, but the new teacher, from what I have heard, would not work as well.”
Counselors originally informed teachers that classes would be finalized on Sept. 12; however, they were later informed that the finalization date would be Sept. 19.