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Projected numbers show increase in Washington County school enrollment

August 27, 2008|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

WASHINGTON COUNTY -- Enrollment for Washington County Public Schools might increase this school year, according to preliminary data released Tuesday during a public meeting.

Officials expect about 21,790 students to be enrolled in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade in the county's schools for the 2008-09 school year. That is about 100 more students than were enrolled during the most recent school year.

Official enrollment as of Sept. 30 is reported to the Maryland State Department of Education, and data released Tuesday could change, Deputy Superintendent Boyd Michael said.

Michael called the first few weeks of school an "unsettled time," and described the enrollment numbers released Tuesday as "fluid."

Board of Education Vice President Donna Brightman asked Tuesday if preliminary enrollment numbers were close to what officials had projected, but Michael said it was too soon to tell.

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According to data released Tuesday, it appeared that enrollment grew at the elementary, middle and high school level, but the number of pre-kindergarten students declined from more than 500 in 2007 to an expected 440.

Officials expect 9,822 elementary students to enroll this year, as well as 4,922 middle school students and 6,661 high school students, according to preliminary data.

A redistricting plan that moved students from 17 schools to relieve overcrowding was created for this school year. Because students were moved to the new Rockland Woods Elementary School and to a replacement school for Maugansville Elementary School, enrollment at many county elementary schools decreased. That includes Bester Elementary School, which decreased from 616 in 2007 to an estimated 478 this year.

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