CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -- Hamilton County school enrollment, hitting the ten-day mark, is slightly above last year's tally.
Compared to 2011, the new enrollment numbers show an overall increase of 426 students. A press release Friday noted an increase of 204 students at the elementary school level. Middle school gained 153 students and high school enrollment was up 69. The school system has a total enrollment of 42,435, spanning the three levels of schools.
The 10th day numbers are important, according to Superintendent Rick Smith, "because now we have a good idea of where the student population has shifted." Recent rezoning in the Ooltewah/East Hamilton area, and the end of the No Child Left Behind program have both had an impact on various schools.
Students who requested a transfer prior to the end of NCLB are still attending out of zone schools, but no additional students were able to make the request for the current school year. In several cases, schools in neighborhoods where parents were once able to "opt out" are seeing enrollment increases this year.
As a result of the 10th day numbers, Central Office administrators are meeting to determine which schools need additional teachers, and which schools are overstaffed. Among elementary schools with significant student losses are Daisy (down 45), McConnell (-42), Lakeside (-37) and Brown Academy (-34). Each will likely lose a teacher or two.
Some may be shifted to elementary schools showing significant gains. Clifton Hills (up 69), Ooltewah Elementary (+58), Orchard Knob Elementary (+56) and Red Bank Elementary ( + 46).
Although East Hamilton Middle lost 121 students due to rezoning, the population shifts were not as significant in middle schools. Four middle schools showed sizable gains: Hunter (+46), Orchard Knob (+43), Brown Middle (+41) and East Lake Academy (+32).
Loftis Middle School could lose a teacher due to an enrollment loss of 23 students.
Two high schools will likely gain some teachers: Hixson High has 98 more students than last year, and Ooltewah High gained 74. However four high schools may lose teaching positions because of higher than average enrollment drops. They are Central (-86), Soddy-Daisy (-72), Red Bank (-70) and Howard (-53).
The Chattanooga Charter School of Excellence, located in Eastgate Mall gained 103 students as it expanded to grades K-3, and now has 272.
Twentieth-day enrollment, which will be announced on September 7, will determine the county's share of BEP money from the state of Tennessee.