Enrollment up in school district

By Dedra Cordle

Staff Writer

When the South-Western City Schools District opened its doors on Aug. 23, it welcomed several thousand new students to its steadily growing population.

At the Aug. 28 board of education meeting, Deputy Superintendent Dave Stewart announced that nearly 2,900 new students have enrolled in the district for the 2017/18 school year and added that the number could change as there has been constant activity at the enrollment center.

According to Stewart, early estimates say the increase in new student enrollment will likely be seen at all levels, but noted that the biggest increase could come at the elementary level due in part to all day, every day kindergarten.

“We’re adding an entire class of kindergartners,” he said.

Since the district began offering all day, every day kindergarten three years ago, student growth population forecasts have predicted the rise in new student enrollment. Now, it appears those forecasts are coming to fruition and officials say that trend is likely to continue.

To meet the demands of the growth (projected and actual) in student enrollment, Carl Metzger, the assistant superintendent on personnel, reported that the district has hired over 350 certificated and classified staff for the current school year. He said among those numbers, the district welcomed 107 “new faces” to its buildings on Aug. 23 as well.

In addition to offering an early snapshot on student enrollment numbers and staff employment, the officials also gave updates on other happening throughout the district.

According to Stewart, over 200 students have enrolled at the Accelerated Learning Center, which is up from last year by nearly 100 students; the food services department has spent $120,000 updating equipment; and the transportation department has added 10 new buses to its fleet.

Stewart also reported to the board that the poplar ‘Breakfast in the Classroom’ program has expanded from three elementary schools to seven. When asked by board member Mindy Garverick if the expansion could reach all elementary schools, Stewart said there were no plans to do so at this time.

“We’ll look at it on a year-by-year basis,” Stewart said.

In other news, Mark Waller, the district’s coordinator of property services and construction program, gave an update the summer work and permanent improvements that have taken place at the buildings.

According to Waller, concrete repairs, most pertaining to sidewalk issues, took place at Brookpark, Norton and Prairie Norton Middle Schools as well as Grove City and Westland High Schools.

Partial replacements of fencing occurred at West Franklin Elementary and Franklin Heights and Westland High Schools.

Paving repairs took place at Finland and Jackson Middle Schools as well at Central Crossing and Franklin Heights High Schools.

Waller also reported that the cylinders on the locks at Grove City and Westland High Schools were changed and those repairs will now enable the staff to possess one key for all lockers rather than multiple keys.














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