Low enrollment continues to plague school

DPMHS has to pay for a teaching position out of the school budget.


Parampreet Aulakh

The enrollment at DPMHS drops to 317 students for the 2019-2020 school year.

Itzel Luna

As the 2019-20 school year kicks off, low enrollment has threatened the loss of a teaching position once again. Daniel Pearl Magnet High School (DPMHS) has decided to pay the position out of the school budget. 

“My intent for that money was to purchase additional resources for the school,” Principal Pia Damonte said. “I had to readjust funds… to ensure that we kept all staff.”

The enrollment number decreased to 317 students from 330 students last year, according to Magnet Coordinator Leah Pevar. 

“We’re down a little bit,” Pevar said. “It’s hard because over the summer I had 365 people who said they were going to attend. I don’t know what happened.”

As a result of the enrollment decrease, DPMHS will not be receiving a new teacher to replace the English teaching position that was lost last school year

To make sure that all students have access to the classes they need, English teacher Ron Baer and math teacher Tuan “Duke” Huynh will be teaching all six periods this year without a conference period. Science teacher Mayada Hatamleh is also teaching geometry.

“I do miss that period to reflect,” Baer said. “Sometimes in the middle of the day, if I have a period off, it helps to think ‘okay what’s happening? How can I change things?’ I miss having that break.”

A new elective class, Mexican-American culture, was also added this year and is being taught by Spanish teacher Marta Rodriguez. 

“Ms. Rodriguez volunteered and she’s now teaching Mexican American culture,” Pevar said. “We’re excited she’s teaching that because it’s a cool, new elective we can offer.”

This school year, DPMHS will also offer more extracurricular opportunities. Four classes will be offered after school, including leadership, music, art studio and cyber patriot. Students were also given the opportunity to take a series of four Los Angeles Pierce Community College classes during first period on campus. 

Damonte has implemented a credit recovery option on campus. The recovery opportunity is given through an online platform and will also be accessible from home. All students that need to recover a class have been enrolled and are asked to stay after school for two to three days a week. 

Pevar hopes that these new extracurricular opportunities will help attract incoming students. 

“(Credit recovery) is good for students who are even at other schools and can’t figure out how to make up their credits,” Pevar said. “They can come here and work with us and we can make it happen for them.”