County school enrollment flat; inner-city schools plummet - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

County school enrollment flat; inner-city schools plummet

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By David Carroll

CHATTANOOGA (WRCB)- First day enrollment numbers show Hamilton County's student population is flat compared to last year.  However, several suburban schools experienced dramatic gains, while inner-city schools are down considerably.

Brainerd High is down 194 students, from last year's opening day (713 to 519).  Nearby Dalewood Middle School dropped by almost one-third from last year (333 to 229).  Orchard Knob experienced a similar drop (367 to 248).  Hardy Elementary is down 100 students (443 to 343). 

East Hamilton, a 2nd year school, is growing rapidly in both middle and high school enrollment.  The middle school is up from 812 to 845 students, while the high school goes from 754 to 991.  The combined enrollment of 1836 makes East Hamilton the largest school in the county.  The school was created in part to alleviate overcrowding at nearby Ooltewah schools.  Ooltewah Middle School is back on the upswing however, going from 505 to 581.  On the other hand, Ooltewah High is down, going from 1402 to 1167.

Among other elementary schools with considerable increases from last year are Brown Academy (368 to 420), East Lake Elementary (275 to 349), East Side Elementary (462 to 534) and Ooltewah Elementary (377 to 434).   Signal Mountain High is also way up, going from 436 to 606.

The new East Ridge Elementary, which replaced an old facility of the same name, as well as the recently closed McBrien Elementary, opened with 847 students.  Nearby Spring Creek Elementary is down considerably, going from 604 to 557.

There have been numerous reports of overcrowded classrooms, and HCDE Communications Director Danielle Clark said, "We staff based on projected enrollment.  However, we never really know how things will shake out until students show up on the first day of school.  Every year we make staffing adjustments around the county based on enrollment about 2 weeks into the year. We will follow this process this year as well and level class sizes based on enrollments at several schools."

To view the complete list of enrollment numbers, click here:





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