by Victoria Vogler | Staff Writer
As teachers scan their enrollment numbers for next year, the foreseen impact of the most recent addition to state requirements for graduation- a credit for Healthy Lifestyles- is becoming a reality. Elective classes have seen decreased numbers, putting them at risk for financial cuts.
“We have a third of the number that we had before in Theatre 1, which is typically where we get them to become part of our department,” theatre teacher Suzanne Martin said.
“This year it’s gone up some, because we’ve worked so hard, but it’s still about half,” Martin said.
Theatre has reached out to middle schoolers interested in their program to boost numbers.
“We have added an additional show; one of the teachers goes over everyday to work with [middle school] students. We have a brought a number of our advanced students over to Tejeda, in particular, to work with them in preparation for their speech tournament, for their plays, doing makeup and various things,” Martin said.
In addition, high school theatre students and staff make a point of demonstrating interest in the younger group’s efforts.
“We go and see all of their shows. We just make a presence on the stage,” she said. “We also took our play, ‘The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, Abridged’, and performed it on their campus. Were doing anything possible to interest the students.”
From inviting students to special showings to touring the facilities, the connection between area schools is rising to a new level of importance.
“I believe most of the electives are really pushing the connection between the campuses; that visitation,” Martin said. “The teacher visitation, but student involvement too.”
The potential losses threatened by financial fluctuations is strong reason to make the effort.
“Financing has provided a very bleak picture to all the schools in general, and certainly to electives in particular,” Martin said. “I’m afraid it will impact it; I’m hopeful, but I don’t know.”
Cuts have effected faculty as well as student numbers.