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Students estimate Berkeley Co. enrollment could jump 30% in 10 years

June 07, 2010|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- Enrollment in Berkeley County Schools is projected to increase by nearly 30 percent in the next 10 years to about 23,000 students, according to student-computed estimates.

The findings by a collaborative of 32 students enrolled in advanced placement statistics at the county's three high schools for the 2009-10 school year were presented Monday evening at the Berkeley County Board of Education meeting.

"Your numbers look very good," Board president William F. Queen told several students who presented the results.

"Statistics can be a tough subject to appreciate sometimes."

The projections were needed as part of a Comprehensive Educational Facilities Plan (CEFP) that Superintendent Manny P. Arvon II said is required every 10 years.

Arvon said after the board meeting that the projection for enrollment growth from 2000 to 2010 was off by about 1,500 students, but would have been much greater had the economy stayed strong in the last few years.

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"If we would have continued on that 600 students a year ... it was unprecedented," Arvon said of the growth in the last decade.

The projections for the next 10 years predict enrollment in the "central" sector, or Martinsburg area, would reach about 9,000 students by 2020, followed by about 7,000 in the northern sector or Hedgesville/Spring Mills area and more than 6,500 in the southern sector or Musselman High School.

Arvon, who lauded the students' work as "outstanding," said the school district's CEFP for the next 10 years projects construction of six buildings in addition to the new high school planned for Spring Mills and new middle school near Gerrardstown, W.Va.

The new schools in addition to two major renovation and additions at Martinsburg North Middle and Musselman High schools are being financed at least in part by a bond issue approved by voters last year.

Students participating in the project were: Musselman High School - Michael Everhart, Derek Heflin, Chelsie McDonald, Oskar Otoya, Sabrina Ratchford, Cheyenne Simpson. Hedgesville High School - Sergio Arce, Hannah Billian, Cierra Hardt, Jing Li, Sean Little, Lauren Parrill, Erin Shibley, Jessy Spates, Kathleen Stickel. Martinsburg High School - Andrew Abrahamian, Wajeehah Akhtar, Aaron Anderson, Walter Baker, John Bieniek, Drew Dopson, Liza Fleming, Rebekah Gletner, Alex Hartofelis, Jamie Hill, Chris Ho, Shelby Johnson, Sricharan Mahavadi, Marie Myers, Tina Nguyen, Sam Sullivan, Matthew Van Dongen.

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