Lack of English books leaves students to buy their own

Max Karp

DCPS did not give Wilson’s English department enough books this year, requiring students to buy their own copies for many units.

Wilson teachers and administration stated that the lack of books was likely caused by a poor estimation of Wilson’s population by DCPS, though the reason for the miscommunication and other specifics remain unknown. Wilson’s enrollment decreased from last year to this year, making the fact that DCPS did not provide enough books perplexing.

“It sounds like we ask for [the books], we say that we have a certain amount of students, and DCPS disputes that number,” English teacher Joseph Welch said. English teacher Lauren Hartshorn agreed. “[DCPS is] saying that we should have a certain number of students, and we are saying that that isn’t possible,” she said. DCPS did not respond to a request to comment, and multiple members of Wilson administration also declined to comment.

Bookroom coordinator Shelly Parker believes that if students turned their books in on time, Wilson wouldn’t have as much trouble providing for every student. “Students aren’t returning their books. They don’t consider it important until they are seniors and need to graduate,” Parker said.

Pre-AP English II teacher Jacob Williams stated that three units had books that were not provided by Wilson, but that for two of them, enough books from previous years had been gathered to be distributed to students. Pre-AP English I had one unit in which books were not entirely provided by the class.

Students were frustrated at having to acquire their own books. “[Getting books] is annoying, because all of the other kids have to buy them too so it makes it hard to find copies in libraries and bookstores,” freshman Luca Ciagne said. For many Wilson students, being forced to obtain their own books could prove financially difficult. The issue could also be a barrier for the English curriculum to be covered in its full extent.

Wilson is taking matters into its own hands to address the issue, buying some books to provide for English classes.