09/16/07 — Numbers down for Wayne County schools

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Numbers down for Wayne County schools

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on September 16, 2007 2:09 AM

Enrollment numbers for Wayne County Public Schools’ first 10 days of classes dropped slightly below the same measure last year.

The greatest amount of growth occurred in the elementary grades, said Robert Yancey, the district’s lead teacher for NCWise and accountability. A total of 15 schools also saw an increase in enrollments since last year.

The official 10-day tally for the 2006-07 school year is 19,333, compared with last year’s total of 19,425. The current figure is 14 students higher than two years ago, however, said Ken Derksen, public information officer for the school system.

Officials said the school year got off to a smooth start, with efforts being made to continue working out typical start-up glitches like transportation and staffing.

As with the start of any school year, shifts are to be expected, Superintendent Dr. Steven Taylor said. Based on school needs and enrollments, minor adjustments with regard to staffing are particularly prevalent, he added.

The state uses the first 10 days as a measure of patterns and ultimately making changes to staff and classroom arrangements.

On the first day of school, Aug. 27, 18,098 students were enrolled, higher than the previous year when 17,915 returned to classes.

Schools with the biggest influx of students over the 10-day period include Carver Heights Elementary and Brogden Middle, with 44 and 45 additional students, respectively. Eastern Wayne Elementary’s numbers climbed by 85, while Greenwood Middle School’s enrollment increased by 89.

Of the high schools, Goldsboro had the sharpest increase in student numbers at the outset with 106, followed closely by Southern Wayne, which had 105 more students by the 10th day.

Schools that saw enrollment increases were ready for it, said Sprunt Hill, superintendent for auxiliary services.

“This summer, our staff set up eight additional modular classroomes at campuses where growth was most expected,” he said.

Changes to bus schedules and routes are also being handled by the transportation department now that students are settled into more of a routine.

Raymond Smith, transportation director, said his staff has streamlined the schedule.

“Our bus drivers have worked hard to get bus routes running on schedule for our more than 10,000 bus riders. Now we are in the process of looking at parent requests for bus stop changes to see if routes can be improved upon,” he said.