Students encounter new faces, tight spaces

District continues to respond to record growth

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Georgie Maynor

Students head for class on Aug. 28 after the first bell of the day rings. “A Day” contains Periods 1-4. Freshman Georgie Maynor took this shot right before her fifth-period photojournalism class. “B-Day” schedule hosts periods 5 through 8. “I like that there are always new people coming to Prosper,” freshman Mallory Peele said. “The growth has definitely made the hallways really crowded, but it’s easy for me to find my friends and make new ones.”

By Kennedy Wyles, Prosper High School

Prosper’s immense growth has resulted in changes throughout the community. With more than 2,289 new students this year and a rate of 19.3-percent growth, administration representatives said they continue to take the steps needed to create a safe learning environment for the ever-increasing number of students.

According to assistant superintendent Dr. Greg Bradley, in addition to the population increasing, the diversity in the community also has grown.

It is likely that the student you’re sitting next to in class was in a private school in California last year,” said Bradley, who oversees business and operations for the district. “It is also possible they were in a public school in London.”

Students and staff have encountered traffic jams where the Career Technology Education hall and the athletic wing both meet and then flow into the main hallway.

Students, particularly freshmen, but also students who didn’t necessarily have classes in those areas last year, have not yet discovered the back-stairs,” assistant principal John Boehringer said. “Once they discover the back stairs, that will lighten up (the traffic) a little bit because you’ll have people moving around that area. We’re fortunate that the original architecture for the building provided a very large main passageway.”

As the school serves thousands of students, administration and staff implemented the new lunch period schedule last year. The seven lunch periods overlap each other, limiting the crowd at each lunch line.

I like that there are always new people coming to Prosper.”

— freshman Mallory Peele

“The objective being we have enough space for people to sit, but we don’t have enough space for everybody to go through the cafeteria lines at the same time in the numbers that we have,” Boehringer said. “By overlapping the start times, we’ve been able to keep the lines moving. I’ll hand it to our cafeteria staff. They have added a few new stations, so the lines work a little bit differently. I’m impressed, I feel like the lines are empty faster than they were last year, even though they’re serving 600 more kids than we had last year.”

The dramatic increase of students in the school has pushed to create new programs and opportunities to the school.

“I like that there are always new people coming to Prosper,” freshman Mallory Peele said. “The growth has definitely made the hallways really crowded, but it’s easy for me to find my friends and make new ones.”

The parking lot congestion is also one of the main concerns of student drivers and parents.

“I would recommend to anybody wanting to avoid that to wait a little bit,” Boehringer said. “If you’re dismissed at the end of last period, not a senior-release kind of situation, wait 15 minutes. Go see a teacher, sit down and do a little homework. There’s always teachers whose classrooms are open even if you’re not doing tutoring.”

Because there will not be another high school built fast enough to accommodate student growth, the administration has added a learning cottage near the school’s Multi-Purpose Facility, containing 11 classrooms, one set of bathrooms, a teacher workspace, an administrator’s office and an office for a police K9 officer. 

“Of course your classes are a little bigger than they have been in the past,” Boehringer said. “To be frank, still below what I would consider to be acceptable norms compared to other schools I’ve worked at. It was pretty routine for me as a teacher to have 35 or more kids in classes.”

A new parking lot has also been installed. Although it is gated off right now, more parking spots will be needed when the sophomore class begins to drive second semester.

Kennedy Wyles
Although currently guarded off, the additional parking lot will offer an extra place for students to park their vehicles as the community continues to grow. “Certainly, as long as the community is concerned, I hope that they’re happy with the way we have tried to accommodate our kids here,” Assistant Principal John Boehringer said. “Obviously with the new housing developments moving in, the kids have to go somewhere, and PHS is it for the next two years.”

“Certainly, as far as the community is concerned, I hope that they’re happy with the way we have tried to accommodate our kids here,” Boehringer said. “Obviously with the new housing developments moving in, the kids have to go somewhere, and PHS is it for the next two years.”

Until traffic starts to slow down, five police officers will help direct traffic around the school.

“Safety is our priority,” Boehringer said. “They’re (the district’s police officers) there to help the flow, but they’re really there to keep us safe.”

This story was originally published on Eagle Nation Online on August 23, 2018.