Enrollment increase is expected

April 23, 1997


Staff Writer

Despite a loss from Fort Ritchie's closing, Washington County school officials are predicting enrollment will grow by 272 students to 19,736 students next year.

In a report to the Washington County Board of Education Tuesday night, Dennis McGee said he expects enrollment to continue to grow - though at a slowing rate - through the 1999-2000 school year.

From then on, enrollment is expected to decrease at varying rates until reaching the current level in 2006-2007, said McGee, the school system's director of facilities management.


Although he expects 16 fewer kindergarten students and about 100 students lost from the closing of Fort Ritchie, McGee said the difference will be more than made up in other grades, including 88 more high school seniors.

Because they'll be spread among the county's 25 elementary school, the additional elementary students shouldn't create a problem, McGee said.

Things will get tight, however, when the current "bubble" in first and second grades - created by a surge in births in 1991 - reaches the middle schools, he said.

The projections are closely tied to birth rates at Washington County Hospital, which have proven accurate predictors in the past, McGee said.

However, they also reflect a number of other considerations, including past enrollment patterns, county growth projections and development plans, McGee said.

While derived at separately, McGee said his decade projections are consistent with state projections.

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