Learning to Love a Larger School

Rocklin High School begins to crack under the pressure of an expanding school.


Students gather on the soccer field after the Welcome Back Assembly. Captured by Jack Goodman.

Hundreds of students file into the gym, trying to snatch a spot in the bleachers or even on the floor. The new school year has begun and the first thing RHS students are welcomed by is an informative assembly to introduce the class of 2023. Though the ritual of this first day remains unchanged, there is one thing that differs every year: the population. This year, the hunt for a seat seems to have become more competitive due to the large increase of students. 

Yes, we have a large freshman class entering Rocklin High. No, it is not just their class that makes a difference in the community. We have people transferring, people who have moved, people from other countries, who all impact the population here at Rocklin High School drastically.

With 2,225 students attending Rocklin High School this year, we must ask ourselves how this is affecting our school as a whole. 

Mr. John Thompson, our school’s Activities Director, states “as an activities program, our main overall focus is to connect kids to the campus in a positive way, and . . . to make sure there are avenues with which to do that. What we have to do is look at the increase in student population and ask what we can do for them to have a positive experience with this campus.”

Even things like the parking availability is something that affects our students here at Rocklin High. With our parking lot though, we do have a method to this madness. Mrs. Laurie Janowsky reflects on this situation on behalf of the Assistant Principal’s office, stating that, “our enrollment is increasing every single year, and unfortunately, we cannot provide on-campus parking for all junior and senior students. Throughout the year, any junior and senior students can apply for a permit and we do not limit the amount permits we provide. Due to being land-locked, our student parking lot cannot expand to create additional student parking because our student lot is surrounded by city streets, school buildings, sports fields, local businesses and private property.”

Although we cannot make our parking lot bigger for the increasing population, students can manage their schedules in the morning to ensure that they get a parking spot. “All student parking spots are on a ‘first-come, first-serve basis’ with the only exception is that there are a limited amount of senior parking spots who, by entering into a lottery, purchased a personalized parking spot!” Janowsky explains. 

Still can’t find a spot in time? According to Janowsky “if on-campus student parking is not available, Rocklin High Students can utilize the Twin Oaks Park as overflow parking,” bringing a solution to the surface.

Rocklin as a whole has been one of the fastest growing cities in California, with an increase in population of 65 percent since 2000. The population was at around 70,000 in May of this year, whereas just 30 years ago the population was under 20,000. The people living in Rocklin have also been doing well with over $90,000 median incomes, around $30,000 more than the average American household, and $25,000 more than the average Californian.  

Rocklin has continued to grow, and with only two high schools in the remote area with more than 2,000 students attending, the future seems chaotic. There are many different ways of adjusting to this burst in population, Rocklin High just needs to find out what will work best with its guidelines or boundaries.