Ocean Springs High Feeling Growing Pains

Spanish teacher Rosa Payne is the newest hire at Ocean Springs High School. The school had to add three full-time teachers and one part-time instructor, because of the population boom.

Principal Robert Hirsch said "The central office allowed me to hire additional teachers in preparation for this year. We also took 2 rooms that were not being used as classrooms and turned them into classrooms".

140-more students are enrolled at the high school this year, and the principal expects another influx of students next year.

Hirsch said "If we continue to grow, probably in the future, we're going to have to look at some extra classrooms and we're going to have to address the consistent growth".

The school district is looking at several options to handle the growth. One idea is for the high school to take over the Alternative School right next door, and move the Alternative School students to another campus.

Hirsch said "That facility has about 6 to 8 classrooms in it. It has a computer lab, library, offices. At full capacity, if that was used as regular classrooms, that would probably handle 120-150 students".

If that proposal doesn't work out, the school could end up building new classrooms on the current campus. The school district realizes it needs to address the problem now, before classrooms start to overflow.

Hirsch said "I think Ocean Springs will continue to grow, as is the whole Gulf Coast is going to grow. So it will be very interesting in about 4 to 5 years".

At this time, the school district doesn't know yet if the Alternate School will have to relocate, and if so, where. The school board could make a decision on a long-term plan by the end of the year.

By: Trang Pham-Bui