More Crowded, or More Creativity?


The crowded 4th floor corridor

Chatter fills the hallways as backpacks whip from all angles and floods of children are jam-packed against the wall. The students at Frank Sinatra School of the Arts (FSSA) seem to be having a bit of trouble making it to their studios due to the sea of children that flood the hallways in-between classes.

According to FSSA Administration, there are currently 808 students in the building, 222 of those are freshmen. Last year, there were a total of 766 students overall with 228 of them being freshmen.

When students and staff members were asked where this apparent over-population has come from, the only explanation is the rising intake of freshman into our performing arts high school.

Is this necessarily a bad thing? Samantha Rozich, a member of the graduating class of 2015, doesn’t think so.

“I feel that it is a positive thing to have such an increasing number of artists within the school. It’s good to see our community growing, rather than receding,” says the senior dance major. Optimistic feedback was given by students of all ages on the subject of the sudden growth of the Frank Sinatra population.

Alejandro Bedoya, a freshman instrumentalist, agrees. “I guess it’s a good thing. It makes us more official,” he added.

On the contrary, other students had a different impression of the increasing acceptance rate into the performing arts school.

“I dislike it. There is no room to move around in the hallways and everyone is always so confused and squished together. I remember on the first day of school, there weren’t enough seats in the concert hall and some students had no choice but to stand through the assembly. That’s not the way it should be,” added a student who wished to remain anonymous.

Isaac Oumzil, a Junior art major, agrees and thinks that it all comes down to who is selected into our school.

“The freshman population is growing rapidly each year it seems. We should be more selective with whom we accept into our community,” he added.

When asked if the freshman acceptance rate will continue to grow in future classes, Ms. Pridgen, assistant principal of guidance, said no.

“One of the major reasons we have been able to accept a larger amount of artists is that the Department of Education (DOE) has a formula of how many students we can hold within the building. High school enrollment gives us a number and a budget that helps us to hire teachers as well as provide a variety of classes to benefit our students,” said Ms. Pridgen. She doesn’t expect the class acceptance rate to exceed 200-220 artists per grade in the future and will take stricter selectivity into consideration.

The question is: Is Frank Sinatra School of the Arts overpopulated or simply revolutionizing creativity within our community?

— by Kelsey Jensen ’15