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Date posted:01-18-02

Dealing with A Crowd

by Ngozi Utti


345 East 15th Street is the address for over 1,500 students from Health Professions High School and two more schools occupying the fifth floor. I.C.E.(Institute for Collaborative Education) and P.S. 226 both share the fifth floor. It is ludicrous that the Board of Education has three schools packed into one building and does not think about how the students feel. This is a very big problem in 345th East 15th Street because it affects many students and staff negatively.

Teachers like to teach small classes because they are easier to handle. Mark Benerofe, history teacher and girls basketball coach, states, “The smaller the class, the more work gets done more efficiently.” I agree with Mr. Benerofe based on my own experiences in overcrowded classes and the difference of the environment when there is a smaller class size. Tiffany Fontaine, fellow classmate and friend at Health Professions High School, claims that when classes are smaller, her learning capacity is heightened because her focus is on the teacher and the board instead of other distractions. The bigger the class is, the more frustration sets in because of the lack of concentration of fellow students.

Overcrowded classes are not the only problem that affects students negatively at 345 East 15 Street. The schedules of gym periods with all three schools are very confusing. Since Health Professions occupies 80 percent of the building, it gets first dibs on the big gymnasium, while I.C.E. gets the leftover time which is not much. Usually since the gym is taken up the entire day, I.C.E. gets the weight room whenever Health Professions is not using it. It seems like there is no problem, right? Wrong, since the three hundred-student body increase, the school has had to make more room for the new students by splitting up the overcrowded gym classes. The staff of I.C.E. is frustrated because it is constantly being moved around whenever Health Professions makes a program change or makes extra classes during its gym period. The kids in I.C.E. only get gym twice a week while Health gets gym four or five times a week.

The throng of kids at 345 East 15th street is overwhelming even for me, and I have been going to Health Professions for three years now. You would think that someone who has gone to the same school for that long would have gotten used to it by now, but I have not. Cramming 375 students per floor for the first four floors and an extra 200-300 students on the fifth floor really isn’t healthy for the student body learning environment. This negatively affects how students and staff work and in time, I hope that the staff in charge will be more responsible in making the learning environment more conducive to learning.

Contact Information for Health Professions:
345 East 15 Street NY 10003
Telephone (212) 780-9175 Fax (212) 979-7261
E-mail healthprofl@yahoo.com



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