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The Pack

Growing Pains


By: Erica Walker and Shalom Montero
Imagine your high school: the place you leave your mark on before becoming an adult, a place where you spend multiple hours trying to earn good grades for college. Now imagine this place has close to 1,800 students in it. This means crowded hallways, cafeterias, and pep rallies. So, how will the increase in our school population affect the current rules, amount of teachers and space in classrooms, and transportation for Tuscarora students? 
Principal Ms.  Jacobs explains, “We opened twice as large as any other high school, so we anticipated our growth to happen very quickly.” She also mentioned that the school was built to fit 1,800 kids, so we are one of the largest high schools in Loudoun County.
The reactions of students vary from anger to excitement when it comes to this anticipated growth. Angela McMullan, a freshman at Tuscarora says, “I have some friends [who] will be freshmen, and I’m excited [they are] coming next year.”  However, she’s concerned about how the large freshman class will impact the school. She thinks that the influx of 9th graders could leave only a small amount of room in the cafeteria. Even though THS’s first senior class is graduating this year, it’s a small group of students. Max Waterman, a sophomore, thinks that “our school is going to be packed because of the amount of freshmen coming and little amount of seniors leaving.” Senior Matt Busbee adds that the large amount of students won’t be good for the hallways.
Despite the growth of the student body, the amount of time between classes will remain six minutes. Waterman thinks that the time between classes should be increased “because we will be late if we aren’t sprinting to our class with all these people.” Ms. Jacobs believes that less socializing will help students get to class on time.
Another concern for students next year is the amount of kids there will be in classes, which could lead to a different student to teacher ratio. Max Schaufeld, a junior, says, “It’s going to be harder for [students] to seek out individual attention.” Ms. Jacobs said that Tuscarora accommodates around 27 kids per class depending on the course and the students applying for it. Senior Leo Meza says, “I think [the upcoming freshmen] are going to make the school tighter.”
The new class of 2016 brings a lot more to THS than new young faces. Schools all over Loudoun County are doubling up the bus routes and cutting bus drivers. This couldn’t have come at a more crucial time because next year Tuscarora is going to have the explosion of freshmen. Freshman Jireh Montero says, “I don’t like it because our bus doesn’t have a lot of people but next year it will have too many people.” This doesn’t affect everyone, however, because a lot of the juniors and seniors have their own car which they use to get to school. Schaufeld is a perfect example because he says, “I’ve never taken the bus.” He drives to and from school like many other upperclassmen.  
The first senior class of THS is graduating and we are all going to miss seeing the t-shirts (You know you want to be ONE TWO). Freshmen are becoming sophomores, juniors finally get to play seniors, we are going to have the explosion of the freshmen, and buses are going to be twice as loaded. But the growth of a school also means new traditions, more clubs and activities, a larger students section at sporting events, and other positives. And those are all things to look forward to.

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