Enrollment up in Cobb, Marietta school districts
by Haisten Willis
April 18, 2014 04:00 AM | 3395 views | 4 4 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MARIETTA — According to a student count conducted in March, enrollment is up at both the Cobb County School District and Marietta City Schools.

School systems count how many students they have twice a year, once in October and once in March. Student counts serve as a loose measure of overall population growth, but are critical in that state funding to local school systems is measured by the number of students in each district.

“A school district initially receives funding for the school year based on the October count, and then that amount is adjusted depending on whether the March count went up or down,” said Cobb schools spokesman Jay Dillon. “Usually, school enrollment growth is a strong indicator that the population of Cobb County is growing overall, which is a positive economic sign.”

Cobb schools, the second-largest school district in Georgia, increased from 108,262 students in March 2013 to 109,760 students in March of this year, a jump of 1,498, or 1.3 percent. Marietta’s enrollment jumped from 8,401 to 8,781, an increase of 380 students, or 4.5 percent. Overall, close to 1,900 more students attend a public school in Cobb County this year than last year.

Representatives from both school systems said the growth is a good sign.

“We grew, No. 1, because of the economy,” said Emily Lembeck, superintendent of Marietta City Schools.

Cobb school board chair Kathleen Angelucci agreed.

“In the last four years, our enrollment has gone up about 1,000 students,” Angelucci said. “I would say our growth was unusual (because of the recession) and it was also significant.”

Marietta City Schools

Looking at the last six years, Marietta schools have grown by more than 1,000 students as well. At the March 2008 count, the district had 7,735 students, 1,046 less than it has now. The district has grown by 13.5 percent over that time period.

Most of the growth has been in the city’s elementary schools.

Lembeck said she doesn’t see the need for any new schools right now, but more classrooms might be added to existing schools in the next few years.

“Previously, many parents would consider private school, but some of them are now making the decision to opt for the quality public education their children can receive in Marietta schools,” Lembeck said. “In some cases, that’s because they could opt for a choice placement in a school other than a school they were zoned for. If you look at our vision, it’s to be the school system of choice.”

She said the school system has added new teachers each of the last four years and will probably add more next year. Lembeck added that if trailers are used as classrooms it will only be on a short-term basis until permanent additions can be made.

CCSD looking at construction

Unlike its smaller counterpart, Cobb schools are looking at new construction.

Two east Cobb elementary schools, Brumby and Mountain View, are going to be replaced with brand-new ones as part of an education sales tax approved by voters. But Angelucci said she hopes for a third new primary school.

Mableton’s Harmony-Leland Elementary School, built in 1951, is tied with Powers Ferry Elementary as the oldest in the entire county. Harmony-Leland leaders and David Morgan, the school board representative from the area, have been pushing hard for a new school that would also replace nearby Clay Elementary. The schools sit less than a mile from each other.

“When they gave us the list the board felt strongly we wanted to do a combined Harmon-Leland/Clay, but we could only choose two,” said Angelucci. “We are trying to find a way to do that.”

Because only two new schools were on the SPLOST list, no sales tax dollars can go toward replacing any other schools.

Angelucci also pointed out that the growth isn’t spread across all of Cobb. East Cobb in particular is growing fast, while other areas have actually lost population.

“Growth is always good to me, but when we’re talking about schools, in some of our areas enrollment is down,” she said. “Some high schools, including both in my post (Kell and Sprayberry) are under capacity.”

Angelucci cited Walton High School, another east Cobb building, as a high school that’s over capacity. Thanks to an increased budget, the school district is looking to hire up to 200 new teachers for next school year.

●●●●●●●●

School enrollment by the numbers Cobb County Schools

March 2013 enrollment: 108,262

March 2014 enrollment: 109,760; Up 1,498 or 1.3 percent

Marietta City Schools March 2013 enrollment: 8,401

March 2014 enrollment: 8,781; Up 380 or 4.5 percent.

Individual schools over/under capacity: High schools

Kell: Capacity is 1,912; enrollment is 1538 or 374 under

Harrison: Capacity is 2,587; enrollment is 1958 or 629 under

South Cobb: Capacity is 2612. Enrollment is 1,998 or 614 under

Hillgrove: Capacity is 1912; enrollment is 2,177 or 265 over

Pebblebrook: Capacity is 1862. Enrollment is 2148, or 286 over

Walton: Capacity is 2,362; enrollment is 2732 or 370 over

Middle schools

Tapp: Capacity is 1,023; enrollment is 809 or 214 under

McCleskey: Capacity is 843; enrollment is 703 or 140 under

East Cobb: Capacity is 1,091; enrollment is 1,281 or 190 over

Lovinggood: Capacity is 1,046; enrollment is 1,392, or 346 over

Elementary schools

Lewis: Capacity is 1,040; enrollment is 724 or 316 under

Pickett’s Mill: Capacity is 990; enrollment is 720 or 270 under

Vaughan: Capacity is 1,037; enrollment is 617, or 420 under

Brumby: Capacity is 751; enrollment is 1,033 or 282 over

Harmony-Leland: Capacity is 478; enrollment is 683 or 205 over

Teasley: Capacity is 456; enrollment is 733 or 277 over

Comments
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Are you kidding me
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April 18, 2014
It seems like it was only a couple of years ago that Harrison parents were complaining it was so packed they needed a new center. You need to redistrict Hillgrove kids to Harrison HS. There have been countless children enrolling from Brazil. I would like to know the demographics of the new kids enrolling. Due to the laws, I think if you are not in the US legally, the schools should be able to charge you tuition.
Cobb Mom of 2
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April 18, 2014
I'm completely confused. Mountain View isn't over on enrollment numbers, they had a renovation within the past few years, they aren't the oldest school in the county but they are getting a brand new school. Makes one wonder whose child/ren attend Mountain View.
Momof 2
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April 19, 2014
MTN View has has an issue with mildew for years! It does seem odd that only now are they willing to address the issue.

I’m not sure why so many parents pick up their kids instead of using the bus or walking. I do my best to avoid that part of Sandy Plains from 2 -3.

Instead of one day a year, I think more kids should walk to school. Perhaps schools should come up with some sort of incentive for either walking or using the bus thus discouraging all the excessive # of students being driven home.

When I was in school we had one student that was picked up daily. Never did understand why, she road the bus until high school.
Tes Socra
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April 18, 2014
Time for school board to "reconsider" the situation of which elementary schools to rebuild !

Brumby Solution - Buy some of the simple single story Power Ferry Shopping Center - tons of vacancy - and that abondoned fast food on Powers Ferry, add on 15-20 classrooms and some core.

This saves all of the money invested recently from previous SPLOSH funds, Brumby would have an entrance off of Terrill Mill as well as Powers Ferry and most of Brumby would be less then 15 years old.

Harmony-Leland - Tear down the 50 year old building and build a suitable building for the student population.

Fix the issues with "car pools" and mildrew at Moutain View like you have done for many other Cobb Schools and ---

Call it a day with decisive leadership - which is why you were elected !

Might even tell the "whole story" about where the replacement Cobb Middle School will be located !
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