Due to over-enrollment, 236 students were left without locker assignments at the beginning of the school year, according to Joseph Bellino, head of the ESOL department.
Bellino said that the lack of lockers had a significant impact on the international population at Blair because those students tend to enroll late and therefore would have been the last to be assigned lockers. Bellino pointed out that in addition to not having enough lockers to accommodate the population, many lockers do not work.
At the urging of teachers, some students who did not use their lockers came to the administration to relinquish unused lockers for redistribution.
Although the number of students lacking lockers has been reduced to 145 students since the start of this school year, Bellino called attention to the fact that the Blair population is constantly growing.
Business Manager Anne Alban also said that during winter months, students often use their lockers to store bulky coats. She suggested that this fact will soon make the problem of locker shortages especially noticeable.
According to Alban, overpopulation also affected students who applied for parking permits this fall. She said that parking lots were unable to accommodate the large number of student drivers this year. "I had to turn down at least 150 student parking applications because we didn't have enough space," she said.
On Oct 16, MCPS postponed decisions on the county's only proposed solution to Blair's overcrowding problem, the Down-County Consortium. The Board of Education vote leaves Blair without relief for several years.
Assistant Principal Linda Wanner noted that Blair's overcrowding problem, which she calls "significant," has prompted attempts to identify and rid the school of students who do not rightfully belong. This year, residency checks were administered to all incoming sophomores. According to Wanner, the checks reduced the school population by over 100 students.
To alleviate crowding, Wanner encourages seniors to enroll in alternative programs or take internships outside of school.
Amanda Wallace. Amanda Wallace is currently is in her fourth year of the Communication Arts Program at Blair, and is an art editor for Silver Chips. Although this is her second year on the Silver Chips staff, Amanda pursued her journalism interests over the summer when she ... More »