High school is exploring options for overcrowding problem

News

Dickinson,ND

A little over five years ago Dickinson High school’s enrollment was around 700 students.

Now, it’s over a 1,000 and overcrowding has become an issue, as students are starting to feel the pinch.

“The hallways are pretty crowded-. . .its hard to walk,” said Morgan Wardner, senior at Dickinson High School.

Wardner said he prefers to go home on his lunch break rather than eat at school.

“There is like no room to walk or sit down and eat”. 

DHS principal Kevin Hoherz said the only thing scarier than the school cafeteria at noon is the parking lot.

“Maybe over half of the students are leaving at noon. . . getting into the cars. . . there is fender benders. . .  its just congested”.

The first year principal said some possible short term solutions to deal with overcrowding is to hold some classes off campus like at Dickinson State University, or going to a split schedule.

 “We might start early in the morning and be done early in the afternoon, and the second section starts late morning and finishes early evening, ” said Hoherz. 

Dickinson High School teacher, Sheila Hlibichuk, said her classroom has grown to about 30 students, and it is becoming much more difficult to teach. 

 “Even just the noise of shuffling feet, shuffling backpacks, it creates a lot of noise. Sometimes the students can’t hear the instruction or the directions”.

Dr. Shon Hocker, Dickinson Public Schools superintendent, said  the long term goal is to either build a new high school or expand the current one.

“Hopefully by November  we have a plan as to what the community would want to do to address the overcrowding at the high school”.

However, some students believe a decision better be made sooner rather than later.

“The freshmen class this year is like two times the size than last year, so its a lot more crowded,” said Carlos Manuel Henderson, sophomore at Dickinson High School.

Dickinson High School’s enrollment has grown more than 10-percent since last year.

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