Irvington Experiences Course and Staffing Cuts Due to Decline in Enrollment


Course on this list will be unavailable during the 2023-2024 school year due to a decline in student enrollment.

Irvington High School will no longer offer several Advanced Placement (AP) and miscellaneous courses next year due to a decline in FUSD student enrollment. 

“I cut 35 classes, which is almost 10% of my board,” shared Irvington Principal Mr. Stanley Hicks. Ethnic Studies, AP Computer Science Principles, Spanish for Native Speakers, Literature & Film, Mythology, AP Music Theory, Living Earth Honors, AP World History 11/12, and all zero-period classes including Ohlone and ROP will no longer be offered at Irvington next year. AP World History 11/12 and AP Music Theory were new courses the administration planned to add, but due to low interest, these courses won’t be offered. “It wasn’t an easy decision to make, but each school gets a formula based on their Average Daily Attendance (ADA),” explained Mr. Hicks. “Irvington is on the lower side right now which means we have to cut personnel, and when you do that you’re trimming classes as well.”

The administration prioritized keeping classes that are required for graduation, such as College Prep courses. Since AP classes are not required for graduation, many AP-level courses were removed. Every department was trimmed by 5 classes.  

Removing zero-period will affect many students who rely on it to fit an extra course in their schedule, meet graduation requirements, or take a Career Technical Education (CTE) course to participate in one of Irvington’s largest clubs, DECA. 

“The numbers [for DECA members] are going to shrink for sure. In fact, the numbers are going to shrink across the district for everybody,” shared Señor Ballado, DECA’s long-time advisor. 

To accommodate this change, all zero-period courses will be offered during the regular 6-period day. However, many students also expressed disappointment with the modifications. “I think it’s really unfair for it to be on the course requests form and then get cut because all of my other choices depended on this course,” expressed Rutansh Pathak (10) on his frustration with AP Computer Science Principles being canceled. “Because I requested AP CSP, I did not request AP US History which now means I’ll be stuck with regular history.” 

Students were especially upset with the cancellation of world language classes. “By losing AP Chinese, my GPA will take a hit and I lose out on college credits. I’ve spent a lot of time and hard work in previous levels of Chinese and all of that will go to waste now. It’s upsetting that the school just suddenly removed a class without giving any notice because we already submitted our course requests,” said Ethan Cheng (10).

 Due to an initial communication gap, Irvington students and families found out about course cancellations unofficially through external sources which increased concern about the issue. However, on Friday, April 6, Mr. Hicks announced that Irvington would refine the courses offered and continue both AP Chinese and AP Spanish in order to “serve as the final course in a pathway students work toward over several years.” 

Fortunately, the school administration is working to accommodate all affected students’ requests. “We’re going back to each of those kids and looking at one of the other courses they requested,” assured Principal Hicks. “In late April, we will send out another Google Form and students can request a change in courses there.”

It’s key for students to carefully choose their courses in late April as the administration is expected to be strict towards course changes in August. “We don’t have the luxury or the space in our schedule to move kids around in August,” shared the Principal. “We want students to really think about what they’re picking. There won’t be a lot of shuffling around next year.”

 The projected decrease in enrollment also means that Irvington is facing a surplus in faculty staff and requires the administration to take proactive measures to balance the student-to-faculty ratio. Teachers across departments are being surplused or moved to another school in the district.

“Everybody who was displaced has a job within the district and shuffled around where they are needed,” explained Mr. Hicks. 

Living Earth teacher Mr. Nguyen is impacted by the surplus. “They told me that all of the ranked teaching positions that I requested will go to teachers with more experience than me since this is my first-year,” he predicted. “They’ll send me to wherever a position opens up but I can imagine it’s probably not going to be a good place.” 

Ultimately, all of these changes will result in a few more alterations, including a slight increase to 33 students in classes. While these changes may be disappointing, they are required to accommodate the overarching issue of a decline in enrollment.