PORT ORCHARD, Wash. --- A new school year means more than 200 new students entering South Kitsap High School.
It's part of the district’s plan to make the high school ninth through 12th grade, but the new influx of freshmen comes with some growing pains.
“There’s a lot of kids and not a lot of room for all the kids. Just really crazy,” said freshman Grace Glisson.
“There’s a bunch more people and a bunch of older people in the same class,” said freshman Hayley.
There’s heavy foot traffic in between periods at South Kitsap High. It’s something the interim superintendent acknowledges.
“We’re concerned about overcrowding in the hallways, particularly in the break periods and before and after school,” said South Kitsap School District Interim Superintendent Karst Brandsma.
It’s the new freshmen coming in to make South Kitsap a four-year school and not just 10th to 12th grade. That means more than 200 extra kids in the mall.
“Every class period you have kids coming up to you asking what teacher is in what class and what level it’s on in school,” said senior Eli.
Eli is one of the “Link Crew Members.” It’s a group of upperclassmen who help kids navigate the halls and find extracurricular activities to join.
“People going to class walk on the right side. People coming from class walk on the left side,” said junior Katelin.
Glisson says there’s still some trouble.
“It’s helpful to have kids tell you where you’re going, but there’s still not a lot of room to get around,” said Glisson.
Despite that, Brandsma says the high school isn’t at capacity and there’s more room for growth. He says not having the ninth graders at the high school level means they would be at a disadvantage.
“Disadvantage in preparing for high school, access to enrich curriculum or AP classes,” said Brandsma.
Eli think it’ll all calm down.
“You definitely notice a difference the first week, but after that next week it gets a lot more comfortable,” said Eli.
It’s something Grace isn’t too sure about.
“I hope it will, but they are just getting more kids next year, so I don’t know,” said Glisson.
Two bond measures failed last year that would have given the district money to build another high school. The district isn’t sure if they’ll present a new bond measure to voters in the coming years.