The opening of two new Loudoun high schools next fall will cut deeply into the student populations of Stone Bridge and Broad Run high schools. Until then, however, both schools are coping with a temporary spike in population.
Both Stone Bridge and Broad Run are expecting about 200 more students than last year, with projections at 1,850 and 1,700, respectively.
"We'll grow really big, then we'll shrink back down," said Doug Anderson, assistant principal at Broad Run, where about 35 new teachers will start this fall.
James Person, principal at Stone Bridge, has spent the weeks before the arrival of students fiddling with the "nuts and bolts" of fitting in all the new students. This year's freshman class, at around 600, will be the five-year-old high school's largest yet.
"We're trying to make sure we've got enough room for everyone," Person said. "We're going to be crowded."
One solution Person's staff has found is to double up on lockers. Freshman this year will share locker space with a partner. In addition, the school has added a fifth lunch period to spread out the rush in the cafeteria.
Overall, however, the jump in population shouldn't affect class size dramatically at either high school, thanks to Loudoun County's historically small class sizes.
"The halls will be crowded, but we'll have classroom space for everyone," Person said. He has hired close to 40 new staff members for the year.
Briar Woods High School, in Ashburn, and Freedom High School, in South Riding, are due to be opened in fall 2005.
AT BROAD RUN, another new development awaits students. They will now have the opportunity to learn about early childhood development firsthand: by running a daycare center. Children from local families will populate the daycare.