08/28/06 — Enrollments down so far in schools

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Enrollments down so far in schools

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on August 28, 2006 1:55 PM

Wayne County Public Schools resumed on Friday, with first-day numbers reflecting a drop over the same time last year.

Officials said the school system's headcount for the start of school at 17,915. On last year's first day, 18,337 students were enrolled in the 31 schools.

The numbers typically climb to more than 19,000 by the 10th day of school, which is the marker used to determine class size and teacher needs. Last year by the 10th day of school, enrollment had climbed by more than 980 students, officials reported.

Across the board, the number of students attending on the first day was lower at most of the schools in the county.

Some of that was anticipated by the school system, particularly at North Drive, Carver Heights and School Street elementary schools. This fall, fifth-grade classes from those schools were moved to Goldsboro Intermediate School as part of the central attendance area reorganization.

But a decrease was also seen in schools where growth was expected, specifically in the northern end of the county.

At Charles B. Aycock High school, 1,180 students were in class on the first day last year, as compared with 1,172 who attended when school resumed on Friday. Norwayne Middle recorded 933 students on Friday, as compared to 948 for the previous year.

Northeast Elementary's records showed 675 students this year, slightly behind last year's 692. Northwest Elementary, however, had an increase from 862 to 910 on the first day.

Greenwood Middle and Meadow Lane Elementary both showed an increase at the start.

Greenwood's enrollment last year started out at 528, with 545 students this year. At Meadow Lane, there were 707 last year, 744 at present.

Tommy's Road Elementary had an increase of more than 40 students this year compared to last year's start, with 588 now and 545 then.

Southern Wayne High School by contrast dropped by more than 40 students, with 1,102 last year and 1,044 on the first day this year.

Some of the discrepancy could be attributed to the fact that school resumed on a Fri-day.

"Like other school systems around the state, Wayne County Public Schools started the school year on Aug. 25 to best meet the requirements of the state's new school-calendar legislation," Superintendent Dr. Steven Taylor said. "Starting the school calendar on a Friday has had some impact on our attendance numbers, but as in years past, we anticipate numbers will steadily climb over the next nine days."