Page 1: More students results in crowded halls, classes

Jake Hardin

Derby is the third biggest high school in Kansas, so, of course, there’s a lot of students in the building.

School started on Aug. 12, and the student body has struggled with crowds. Before and after school — during passing periods — many kids endure the jam-packed building.

“We’re one of the biggest senior classes in a long time, and with the biggest freshman class coming in, we’re taking a lot of spots,” senior Ethan Lees said.

Of the 2,235 students, 586 are freshmen, 553 seniors. While there were 2,185 students n the 2020-2021 school year, around 500-700 were in remote learning.

Remote learning is not an option for students.

Lots of students also means lots of cars, so leaving school at the end of the day is no easy feat.

“I just go out to my car and sit until I believe it’s clear enough,” senior Riley Davis said. “I leave the high school probably around 3:20.”

Classes are also facing student dilemmas.

“I mean, class size has been a problem, even before Covid,” said Stacy Lindsey, who teaches AP U.S. Government. “It’s impossible to distance anyone, and we don’t even have enough desks for every student.”

Lindsey’s room is just one example of overcrowding in classes. One of her blocks has 30 students, while the cap is at 32.

The credit recovery classes in the Panther Learning Center are also overcrowded. 

“We offer students a non-traditional approach to getting back on track with their education,” said Luann Sparks in the PLC. “That is a very positive step for a lot of our students. They need a different way to get reconnected to school, work with different situations. And getting them back on track and moving them forward and seeing them reintegrate into DHS classes so successfully is very positive.”