Is School of Choice a Good Idea for ANHS?

For the 2022-2023 school year, Aliso Niguel High School opened their school for School of Choice. The application opened on Jan. 31 and will close on March 4. 

The School of Choice program “offers to parents within the CUSD boundaries the opportunity to apply for another CUSD school that they would like their child to attend.” 

Aliso Niguel is listed under “open” enrollment, which means there is available space in each grade level. In just the first week, 667 applications were received.

There has been a bit of debate of whether or not this was a good idea for Aliso Niguel. Nearly 3,000 students are currently enrolled. The school is already overpopulated. There are concerns whether or not the School of Choice program will further increase the school population or decrease the number. 

If the school population further increases, a few problems may occur. Classes will become more full, which may require more teachers. Bathrooms that are already crowded and hard to access may become more overcrowded. Acceptance into sports and classes may become more competitive as more athletes join the school. 

Does this school have enough funding for more students?

Due to COVID, there is also the concern of bringing students from different areas. Cases are already very high at Aliso Niguel, and bringing more students from out of Aliso Viejo could potentially further increase the number.

However, there are benefits to School of Choice. In Aliso Viejo, there is only one high school. If a student does not want to attend Aliso Niguel, there are no other options. With the School of Choice program, students can attend a different school without having to move. It gives students more freedom to attend a high school in the CUSD district they are more interested in.

Athletes from different schools may enroll in Aliso Niguel, and bring different skills and talent to the sports teams. More students could create more clubs and different classes, giving opportunities for fun activities and electives. 

Mr. Mashburn, the athletic director, has high hopes for School of Choice being beneficial for the athletic department. He acknowledges that for the past seven years he has been part of Aliso Niguel, this school has been the only CUSD school not part of the School of Choice program. 

“This will create more competitive teams in the future and allows us to be on the same “playing field” as all the other CUSD schools who have had school of choice while we did not,” Mr. Mashburn says.

Until next year, there is no way of really knowing what the outcome of school of choice will be for Aliso Niguel. Hopefully, it will be beneficial for the school.