Inside the Growth of Batavia Local Schools
October 8, 2019
With the growing population of Batavia schools, staff and students theories it’s only a matter of time until the small school feel is completely gone. Can Batavia last another 3 years in the meantime of constructing the new middle and high school?
Lots of problems have come from a growing population in other schools, less room, less of a safe space, less student to teacher ratio, and so much more. If Batavia doesn’t make a serious effort to accommodate for all the new faces then there might be serious consequences.
With the buzz of the growing population there are many opinions. Mrs grooms one of the counselors at Batavia reached out with her own.“I think that we not lose sight of our community and our connections in that community.” “Honestly I like the smaller school, that’s what I’m comfortable with, that’s what I grew up with. That’s why I loved being at Batavia, it had a small school feel.” Grooms said.
Batavia has had a significant amount of growth in a very short period of time. It feels similar to the baby boom back in the 1950s. There is a bunch of new faces and nowhere for them to go it seems, So what do we do? We expand of course! Batavia has since built a new Elementary school which has already met capacity, and plans for a new High and Middle school within the next 4 years.
It seems the high school has been overrun while waiting for the construction of the new school. Every year the freshman class gets bigger and bigger and students say they see more faces and fewer of them are familiar each year. The schools class size has gone from around 20 or less per class to close to 30. Batavia has even added a fourth lunch this recent year.
“I think it’s important that we still try and keep class sizes as small as we can and encourage students and teachers to maintain a proper relation so students can know teachers and teachers can know students.” Grooms said.
“The load of 100 students can be very hard to manage. And unfortunately can interfere with really knowing the students we are working with and if we get to the point where we need to offer or have another counselor then that’s where we need to go” Grooms said.
The general opinion seems to be the same among the students of Batavia as well.
“It feels so crowded and overwhelming” Hannah Noland a 12th grade student said. “I barely have room to walk around my classroom”
Cooper Heslin another 12th grade student had an opinion to share“There isn’t enough teachers to monitor the kids, It feels like there allowed to do anything they want. I just hope it doesn’t become complete anarchy”
Mrs. Grooms seemed distraught at the idea of a big school, “I like the small school, It’s what I grew up with” Grooms said. “ If Batavia loses the small school feel some fear it will be gone forever. What about the kids and staff who don’t like big schools? Is it really fair to change it up on them?
Batavia has always been a small school, but to truly understand I asked senior Hannah Noland to share what a small school truly felt like. She had this to share, “Everybody knows everybody. When you walked in the hallway there was a sense of security, the feeling of knowing almost everybody. even if you never said a word to them, just seeing a face you know brought comfort.”
Batavia will soon be a big school with all new faces and completely new buildings. The future isn’t something you can predict. How Batavia will end up is unknown to everyone.
Are the worries of the Batavia staff and students just fear of something new, or are they completely warranted? Only time knows the answer to that question.