Sunday, September 10, 2006

Only 52 students enrolled at Shaw High, built to hold 1,600

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) - Only 52 students enrolled this week at Shaw High School, which was built to accommodate 1,600.

The dwindling enrollment left 17-year-old Julian Slater as the only student in his driver's education class.

"It's weird," Slater said, seated within arm's reach of his teacher, Terry King. "I'm used to being able to talk to my friends."

With 10 teachers, Shaw has all of the core academic subjects, as well as Spanish, art, drama and some business computer classes.

Two years ago, all of Shaw's district was folded into Prichard's Blount High School to make room for a career-technical academy at Shaw.

Only students who signed a contract saying they would stick with Shaw until they graduated were allowed to stay. But school system officials aren't certain if funding will be available to establish the career-technical academy at Shaw.

Only a few juniors and a few dozen seniors are enrolled.

On Tuesday, there were 10 to 12 students apiece in government and economics, pre-calculus and 12th-grade English. There were three empty classrooms downstairs and 11 empty upstairs in the school's main building.

An entire wing of 20 classrooms remains closed.

"All the other schools are overcrowded. You're bumping into each other in the hall," said 17-year-old Samara Jones.

"I wish I could bump into someone," said classmate Chelsea Pryor, 16.

Samara and Chelsea, both juniors and honor students, said they are concerned about Shaw's shrinking enrollment. They're disappointed that there won't be a homecoming week or maybe even a prom this year.

And there's no football.

Shaw is listed as a school that must offer students the chance to transfer to so-called better performing schools under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

Mobile County schools Superintendent Harold Dodge said because other high schools have failed to meet the state standards, Shaw's students have a limited number of places they can transfer into.

Only schools that met the standards for at least two years and have space available can accept them. Those six schools are often not the schools that Shaw students want to attend.

Dodge had recommended that Shaw close at the end of last year. He said that with such a low student population, the school system would not be able to staff Shaw with enough teachers to offer the kinds of classes that students would need and want.

The school board overruled Dodge, keeping Shaw open for at least one more year.

Crimes Against Logic


Post a Comment

<< Home