Early trends show school enrollment down slightly in Rowan, up in Kannapolis

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 13, 2012

By Sarah Campbell
scampbell@salisburypost.com
Early enrollment trends indicate slightly fewer students are attending class in the Rowan-Salisbury School System this year.
There were 20,009 students enrolled on the 10th day of class Monday. That’s down by 145 students, less than 1 percent, from last year at this time.
The Kannapolis City school district saw the opposite trend, adding 30 students for 5,262 enrolled on 10th day this year.
“We’ve seen slow, steady growth for the past few years,” district spokeswoman Ellen Boyd said.
Boyd attributes the influx of students to job opportunities at the North Carolina Research Campus and the growth in the city of Kannapolis.
Rita Foil, Rowan-Salisbury School System spokeswoman, said although enrollment is down, the numbers are close to the state average daily membership projection of 20,079. That projected figure determines the amount of state funds each district receives.
“This is the first time since the 2008-2009 school year that we are close to our projected numbers and do not have to return funds to the state,” Foil said in an email to the Post.
Schools receive funding based on the number of students enrolled at the 10-day mark. That includes instructional, copier and staff development allotments.
Twenty-two of the Rowan-Salisbury district’s 35 schools had a dip in enrollment.
Southeast Middle lost the most: 51 students for a total of 723.
Enrollment fell by 36 students at Erwin Middle to 919.
Bostian, Hanford Dole and Hurley elementary schools each saw a decrease of more than 25 students.
Although Bostian has fewer students overall, the district is hiring a teacher for the school because of an influx of children in lower grades, where class sizes are capped at 24 students.
Carson High, which has the highest enrollment in the district at 1,155, has 23 fewer students than last year at this time.
Knollwood Elementary has the largest student increase in Rowan, adding 44 students for a total of 702.
Both Salisbury and North Rowan high schools gained students. Salisbury’s total is 917, up by 40 students. North added 36 students for an enrollment of 724, which means it remains the smallest traditional high school in the school system.
Cleveland Elementary, which has the smallest enrollment in the district, lost 10 students this year for a total of 300. Despite lower numbers, an additional teacher is being hired to work in fourth grade, where the numbers are higher than anticipated.
China Grove Elementary is currently holding steady at 540 students.
Three of the eight schools in the Kannapolis city district lost students. They include Forest Park Elementary at 28, A.L. Brown High School at 17 and Jackson Park Elementary at nine.
A.L. Brown continues to have the highest enrollment in the district at 1,431.
Kannapolis Middle has seen the largest student increase at 25 for 781.
Contact reporter Sarah Campbell at 704-797-7683.
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