Small MS Grows with Austin


Libby, Student Advisor/Writer

Honk! honk! The sounds of cars stuck in Austin traffic echo through the air. It’s a familiar sound to the students of CSMS as they wade through Austin morning traffic. According to online sources, about 110 citizens move to Austin a day– that’s approximately five per hour. This can keep the average Austinite from getting their kids to school easily.  

If each of the daily wave of 110 people includes kids, then it’s no wonder CSMS is at a record population high of 1,202 students– 29% more than last year. In addition to the obvious reasons, congestion in the hallways, or crowding on the buses, the lunch lines come to mind.

About 2/5 of all students go through the lunch line and if there are 400 students at lunch at a time and 160 of them are in the lunch line, then waiting in line is inevitably going to be miserable. Throw in the fact that only three of Small’s four lunch lines are in operation. That’s because one is closed due to a staffing shortage. Some kids may just choose not to eat. But the number of students at school also effects the reason we come to school, not because it’s state mandated, but to learn. Having a ton of students in each class doesn’t make learning easier, most of the school day is spent sitting in the classroom, and if the number of kids in a classroom prevents you from learning then why are we even HERE!  Some classes have up to 40 kids in a room, different students and teachers have their own take on this. Ms. Erin Kirk is a new teacher to the Small, she teaches eighth-grade science and has about 35 children in each class. “The number of students in each classroom affects learning negatively because when one student starts whispering it doesn’t make much commotion,” she said. “But when it sounds too loud for me to try to teach.

I think it’s harder to pay attention because with a ton of students it’s harder to find seats to accommodate everyone. To solve the problem we could hire more teachers to compensate for the number of students. Students feel the increased number of classmates, too.

“I don’t think it is great to have a lot of students in a class because having more friends in your class leads to more distraction. And more distraction leads to less learning,” said Annika Mosser, 8th grader. 

That thought is echoed by 8th-grader William Ansdell.

“When there are more students in a class each student get less individual time with the teacher,” he said. 

Last year the student count ranged from 998-1000 all year. However, a fix to this in the next few years will be beneficial to the learning in the classroom.