A Project for Better Journalism chapter

Stay away from the big bad school

Rumors and stereotypes that affect enrollment in schools could not be more unpleasant to listen to. In the past six years, enrollment has declined by at least 600-700 students. Right now, we are at about 1,800 students enrolled compared to the once 2,200 to 2,400 enrollments. The decline has a lot to do with population and the community’s choices. The decline in enrollment will definitely affect not just student education, but how the community is viewed.

“It’s more [of] people deciding where to go and their perspective. They’re kind of stereotyping Orange Glen as too much ghetto. The reality is it’s [safer] and more people are involved,” Octavio Cruz, 12 said.

There are many factors that affect enrollment decline. According to some students and an urban dictionary, this school may be viewed as “ghetto” or poor. Despite these rumors and supposedly being the most stereotyped school in the area, Orange Glen has dedicated staff and through its imperfections it is known for some of its achievements. There has been a national award for the newspaper, a regional championship win for the soccer team and how the Academic League Team competed nationally in Washington D.C. Also, the population of young adults in the area is dropping and charter schools within the district are attracting more students through advertising.

“We are doing most of the things we can. Our school is trying to advertise a bit more, kind of like what the charter schools are doing,” AP Statistics teacher, Gayle Kovacevic said.

At the school, the Learning Center is offered and open to students who do not want to learn in a live classroom. This is similar to how charter schools run online classes. Charter schools in the district also give parents options through different models. Sometimes it’s homeschooling or it’s partial day. Education wise, schools are competing with each other. Improving our enrollment is not an easy task, but as a school, the quality of the classes students take should be kept high. This would include the AP classes.

“[We can] offer dual enrollment, like college classes that also count for high school credit; create stronger programs like AVID and culinary, greater variety of course offerings that still earn A-G credit; smaller class sizes and a variety of sports. [We can also] offer more vocational/technical classes for students not interested in college,” AVID teacher, Pamela Whiting said.