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Berkeley County school enrollment rising

November 30, 1999|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.VA.

For at least the fifth consecutive year, overall enrollment in Berkeley County's public school system has increased by more than 500 students, according to data compiled by district administrators and submitted recently to the West Virginia Department of Education for review.

School-by-school counts submitted in the second month of each academic year determined that 16,889 students were being served in some capacity, if not all on a full-time basis, for the 2007-08 school year, Deputy Superintendent Frank Aliveto said.

The increase in enrollment was smaller than that for the 2006-07 school year, but that didn't come as a surprise to Aliveto, who attributed the decline to the area's cooling housing market.

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Based on the "head count" data reported to the state for 2007-08, Aliveto said Hedgesville and Martinsburg high schools were the county's largest, with 1,654 students each. Musselman High School had 1,476 students.

Musselman Middle School had 1,180 students, the highest number of students at any of the county's five middle schools, Aliveto said.

Submitted to the state by the principal of each of the county's 29 learning centers, the October tallies are used to determine the amount of funding each county receives. Because certain students attend school for only part of the school day, the final enrollment figure used to calculate funding for the next year will be lower than the head count tally.

"It's real, real important that we get every student counted," Aliveto said.

Berkeley County's head count of 16,334 students for the 2006-07 year was second only to Kanawha County's, which listed 28,104 students, according to data compiled by the state Department of Education.

Jefferson County, with 8,043 students, ranked 11th among the state's 55 county school districts, according to the state figures.

Jefferson County has seen steady growth over the last five years. In the 2003-04 academic year, the district recorded 7,414 students. The student population increased by about 200 students per year for the next three years, reaching 8,100 in 2007-08.

Morgan County Schools has 2,736 students enrolled in its eight schools, and the second-month number officially was reported to the state Oct. 19, said Elaine Mitchell, that school system's coordinator of Technology Support Services.

The district has grown by about 200 students over the last five years.

"We have had a steady increase for the last several years, and it's one of the counties to grow in West Virginia," Mitchell said. "Our enrollment reflects that growth."

Staff writers Dave McMillion and Trish Rudder contributed to this story.

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