THHS accepts more freshmen for the Class of 2022

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By: Daniela Zavlun and Sharon Lee, Copy Editor and Staff Writer

In the 2018-2019 school year, Townsend Harris welcomed a slightly larger freshman class than in previous years. While all upper classes currently consist of approximately 280 students each, there are 307 freshmen in the Class of 2022.

According to Assistant Principal of Organization Ellen Fee, part of the admissions process is estimating how many students will choose to attend other schools after being accepted to THHS. This year, the acceptance rate may not have changed, but rather the amount of students that decided to come to our school increased: “Our problem every year is to accurately predict the number of students not coming, so we can get an accurate idea of how many are coming. The good news is that more students chose us,” she said.

This shift carries some financial benefits as well.  The funds provided by the Department of Education make up a significant portion of our school’s finances, and some of the money allotted to the school is correlated with the number of students enrolled. Specifically, the DOE grants $5200 for each student enrolled at THHS, ultimately inflating the school’s budget.

However, Ms. Fee also pointed out that space has become limited due to this expansion, which has led to some oversized freshman classes and less room for extra activities that take place during the day such as tutoring, additional club/committee/organization meetings, and make-up exams.

Nevertheless, this does not seem to have had a major effect on the daily function of the school. Social Studies teacher and UFT Chapter Leader Franco Scardino said, “I think programming, class sizes, rooming has all worked out okay. We can definitely improve on all that, and I am confident Mr. Condon will address programming and rooming.”

“We’re trying to balance all of those issues to run a school that maximizes the dollars given to us,” Ms. Fee added.

“I think that if we have the capacity to accept more students who are qualified to attend Townsend Harris we should accept them. We will be doing the right thing, and I think all the students and staff at [THHS] will benefit,” continued Mr. Scardino.

Ms. Fee affirmed that the school plans to continue this new class size of about 295-300 students.