Capistrano Unified School District's high school enrollment is growing so fast that even a newly planned high school will not be able to absorb all the expected students.
This year, 2,787 students are crammed into Capistrano Valley High School, a campus designed for 2,075 students. Within two years, district officials expect 3,736 students at the school.
The district's three other high schools also are overcrowded, and it will be at least three years before the planned Chiquita Canyon High School is built and opened.
Now a sixth high school site is being sought.
"We even qualify for an additional high school site after Chiquita Canyon because of our significant growth," said David Doomey, assistant superintendent of facilities planning.
At a Monday meeting, , school board trustees discussed several drastic measures to cope with the overcrowding.
A double session would reduce classroom instruction but maximize use of the facility.
Other options: Create a separate off-campus site for ninth-graders; add portable classrooms; or establish a temporary facility for ninth- and 10th-grade students who will eventually attend Chiquita Canyon.
"We added seven portables this year," Capistrano Valley Principal Dan Burch said. "We installed temporary walls and subdivided classrooms. We held drama class on the stage. . . . We removed audiovisual equipment and used a storage room as a classroom."
This summer, the district will add six more portable classrooms, bringing the total to 36.
After further discussion of the options, a formal recommendation on accommodating the new students will be presented to the board on March 30.