09/07/06 — After slow start, enrollments are up in schools

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After slow start, enrollments are up in schools

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on September 7, 2006 1:49 PM

With less than two weeks into the new school year, students in the public schools have already experienced an early dismissal day, cancellation of classes and a holiday.

Anticipating the storm Ernesto's arrival, school officials released students early on Thursday and later closed school on Friday, necessitating the need for a make-up day. Monday had already been slated as a holiday for Labor Day.

When school started on Aug. 25, enrollment was down by 422 students from last year. The headcount for the first day was 17,915, compared with 18,337 who started the school year the previous year.

School officials closely watch the numbers in the initial days, with Day 10 being the marker used by the State Department of Education to determine teacher allotments. Already, Wayne County Public Schools has surpassed the 10th-day numbers from last year.

By the 10th day of 2005, the rolls reflected 19,290 students.

As of Wednesday, the seventh day of the school year, there were 19,245 students attending classes around the county.

The increases have been rapid. While attendance was lower than expected when school resumed, the numbers climbed by 757 students on the second day for a total of 18,672. They rose again by 310 on the third day, and another 126 showed up on day four, for a total of 19,108.

The midway point was Thursday, Aug. 31. Despite the abbreviated fifth day because of the impending storm, attendance was reported at 19,126.

For the most part, marginal increases have been evenly distributed across the county.

The school growth areas have typically been in the northern end of the county, reflecting population shifts. And while that held true for Charles B. Aycock High School, where student numbers have risen from 1,186 at the start to 1,257 students on Wednesday, the most significant changes occurred in other areas.

At Brogden Middle School, enrollment went from 467 to 512. In the central attendance area, Carver Heights Elemen-tary rose from 262 to 306.