Cobb, Marietta report increase in enrollment
by Lindsay Field
August 17, 2013 12:04 AM | 2335 views | 2 2 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MARIETTA — Early counts in Cobb and Marietta school districts show hundreds more students enrolled in their schools than they did at the same time last school year.

School officials cite increasing housing starts and home sales in an improving economy as the major reason. They said choice programs at some elementary schools are luring parents into the districts now that homes are selling, allowing families to once again become more mobile.

Cobb Schools recorded 106,488 students after its first week of classes. This number is up from 105,154 on the first day of school last year, a difference of 1,334.

The first day of classes was Aug. 7. Marietta has registered 8,665 students since school started Aug. 8, up from 8,078 in August 2012, a difference of 587.

The official enrollment counts for public school districts must be turned into the Georgia Department of Education twice a year, once in October and again in March.

These figures help the state determine approximately how much funding each district will receive from the state. A portion is allotted per student but that amount ranges depending on the type of student — i.e. gifted, regular education and special education.

Cobb Schools receive an average of $3,600 per student from the state while Marietta gets $3,500.

Last March, Cobb reported having 108,262 students enrolled and Marietta had 8,401.

Marietta City continues to see enrollment rise

Marietta Superintendent Emily Lembeck said she doesn’t believe her district really has enrolled almost 600 more students than it did at this point last year.

She said a new method of tracking students called the Aspen Student Information System has allowed the district to be more accurate with its enrollment figures.

Lembeck thinks the actual student enrollment increase is about 200.

“For the three previous years, we grew about 200 students each year, so we anticipate growing another 200 this year and I think we will realize that, but we really won’t know exactly until after Labor Day weekend,” Lembeck said. “Having more than 200 this year, would really be extraordinary.”

She thinks the enrollment continues to grow in Marietta City School because it’s a charter system and offering Choice Academy, which allows parents and guardians to choose the elementary school best suited to their child’s talents and needs, provided space is available.

“We have quality programs at all levels of our school system,” she said, adding that the middle and high school also offer International Baccalaureate programs and multiple career-related classes.

Cobb Schools gets boost in enrollment

As of Thursday, 106,488 students were enrolled in Cobb Schools. Deputy Superintendent Cheryl Hungerford said they projected enrollment of 106,645.

“We are pretty close to our projections but we will do another count on (Aug. 19) and another count the Thursday after Labor Day,” Hungerford said.

Compared to the start of the 2012-13 school year, the district enrolled approximately 1,300 more students. There were 105,154 students attending Cobb Schools last year at this time.

Hungerford said the growth was spread throughout a majority of the schools in Cobb everywhere and could be partly due to private school students transferring to the public school districts.

She also said they are continuing to see the roll over from students who were attending the 535-student Imagine International Academy of Mableton that closed the spring of 2012.

The Cobb School Board closed the school after it voted down the school’s charter school petition because it was millions of dollars in debt and state tests scores were below average.

Two schools that have enrolled above the projected numbers are Smyrna Elementary School, which opened for the first time this school year, and Mabry Middle School in Marietta.

Hungerford said district staff projected enrolling 663 students at Smyrna, and they have registered 805. At Mabry, they projected enrolling 813, and 885 are registered.

“We are trying to make the adjustments at the elementary school level first because it’s quite difficult for them to make the adjustment and we want to get them settled as quickly as possible,” Hungerford said.

She has already added two kindergarten classes at Smyrna because of the growth.

Comments
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CobbTeacher
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August 17, 2013
I was told that Barber Middle School has as many as 55-60 students in some classes. MDJ, can you find out if that's correct? I certainly hope it's not!
Start too early
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August 17, 2013
We have had new students enrolling for 8 days now because we start school so early. Families aren't ready and people moving in from other states are surprised which equates to children already being behind. Classes are overloaded and now special education students are not properly being served because we can't afford more special education teachers. Education is not heading in a good direction!
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