Staff adjusts to influx of students


Source: Melinda Bailey Photos by Gabby Push Graphic by Hannah Miller

Hannah Miller, In-depth Writer

According to Melinda Bailey, curriculum specialist and assistant athletic director at North, there are 1,852 students currently enrolled at Omaha North High school for the 201819 school year. In the 2017-18 school year there were 1750 students. North gained 102 more students, particularly in the freshmen class.

“This year we have large sophomore and freshman classes. I can see it in the class sizes in the core classes for freshmen and sophomores for sure and then that in turn causes higher class sizes in upper level classes because of the amount of teachers,” said Bailey.

To help teachers with the large influx of freshman and sophomores the administration have added more desks to classrooms and have let teachers know that there will be more students in their classroom.

“You have to make sure that you do a good job with the organization of your classroom, utilizing space and sometimes with that many students in the classroom, management becomes an issue,” said Bailey.

Bailey has worked at North for 25 years but 28 total years in in the Omaha Public Schools district. She was at North when there were roughly 2,300 students here in the mid-90’s when there was no new addition to the school.

“It wasn’t the classrooms that were a problem. We were all kind of used to having 30 kids in a class. It was the hallways that were really problematic. I see that a little bit but not as bad this year,” said Bailey.

Elisa Soto, junior, said,” I think the population should be shortened because there is a lot of [freshmen] and there’s an imbalance in the amount of upperclassmen and lowerclassmen. [The administration should] not accept any more transfers, there is already enough kids in here, stop.”

Anybody who lives in the,” neighborhood has to be allowed to come to school here,” said Bailey.

To help with the overpopulation in OPS, a 409.9 million bond has been ensured for five new schools, two of which will be high schools. One will be built at 60th and L Street and the other at 156th and Ida Street.

“I think that this is a good size for North high school, we’re not too big we’re not like South high school where they’re busting at the seams. Hopefully next year we can get some more staff that will help with to reduce the class sizes. It’s a good problem to have and I’d rather be here than at some other high schools where this is the norm,” said Bailey.

Zoe Gregorio, senior, said that there are too many freshmen that came in this year and that the hallways are crowded, especially the t-sections. Gregorio stated that, ”The high school [North] itself is fine, what we really need is more high schools… There’s not a perfect answer to fix the overpopulation issue but it does need to be discussed and looked at a lot more.”

Madeleine Kimbrough, Forensic Science and Chemistry teacher, stated that while class size has increased there haven’t been a whole lot of other changes that have been dealt with. Kimbrough thinks that they should keep the class sizes small so then they can reach the students.

Bailey said that they try hard to recruit kids to come to North. John Vinchattle oversees the magnet program and she thinks he does a good job.