New Edina students impact hallway blockage and COVID-19

Claire Chen, staff writer

The year has begun at Edina High School with extreme hallway traffic, part of which can be attributed to what the school counselors claim to be a substantial increase of new students. Between each bell, the hallways near Door 5 and the Social Studies wing are packed with students. This overfill of people has caused many to arrive late to their classes. 

“Of the 212 new students this year, 114 are ninth-graders,” said Angela Keiffer, one of two ninth-grade counselors. Keiffer mentioned that this is a drastic increase compared to past years and is the main reason for the cramped hallways. “With a large number of new students, plus the sophomores who’ve been EVA last year and have never been to the building, the congestion is mainly caused by people being confused on where to go,” Keiffer said. 

Even though confusion is a prominent cause of the blockage, it is not the only source. Keiffer also added that currently, numerous freshmen and sophomores have yet to form their own unique paths to their classes. Most take the obvious route, which leads to an overflow of students in the main hallways.

“My parents told me to look for landmarks when navigating the school, but since there are so many people, they cover the landmarks. It’s difficult to find my way around,” freshman Madeline Stoffel said.

 With congested hallways causing students to be in such close quarters, the school’s COVID-19 precautions cannot always be followed. To stop the spread, there have been suggestions to bring back one-way hallways. This plan did reduce the traffic last year but was not well received by the students, who noted its inconvenience. Administrators have discussed creating educational slideshows about hallway traffic and presenting them in advisory.