The school system has 10,239 students enrolled in kindergarten through 12th grade, according to Bradley County Schools director Johnny McDaniel.
“It’s indicative of a growing, thriving community,” McDaniel said.
He said growth in enrollment is a reminder of the need to provide space and opportunities for students.
The majority of the school system’s increases have been at the middle and high school level.
McDaniel said Bradley Central High School has seen the greatest increase this year.
“They have 480 in the ninth grade. That is one of the largest freshman classes in recent history,” McDaniel said.
This brings the school’s total enrollment to 1,780.
Walker Valley High School has 1,572 students enrolled. McDaniel said this was only a slight increase from last year.
“They are full,” McDaniel said. “You may have some people interested in going there from out-of-zone, but he (Principal Danny Coggin) really has to hold a tight lid on that.”
Lake Forest Middle School has also seen an increase with current enrollment at 1,123. Ocoee Middle School now has 1,255 students.
Many teachers in the middle and high schools rotate to different classrooms to accommodate for limited space.
Overall enrollment numbers for the school system includes virtual school students.
“We are at 55 at the virtual school,” McDaniel said.
Virtual school personnel had projected growth this year based on feedback from last year’s students and parents.
The school system ended last year with 10,020 in enrollment.
While elementary school as a whole is holding steady, individual schools have seen growth.
McDaniel said three teachers have been moved from schools that did not have large increases to schools where additional personnel was needed.
One elementary school that saw an increase in students was Black Fox.
“They are really at capacity over there. We are actually having to move the music (class) out of the building and put it in a portable,” McDaniel said.
With enrollment increases at Park View Elementary, McDaniel had discussed the possibility of moving the preschool Comprehensive Development Classroom to another location. He said Park View Principal Deb Bailey felt the classroom should stay at the school since the classroom was designed specifically for the program. The CDC class is remaining at the school.
The Park View music teacher will be traveling from room to room with her materials on a cart rather than having her own classroom this year. This type of creative solutions to space issues has been used throughout the school system.
Enrollment has also increased at North Lee Elementary. A portable classroom for the school’s preschool class has been set up to create more classroom space.
McDaniel said rearranging the school zones might be reviewed in the future as a way to even out the elementary schools.
In addition to enrollment, which counts students registered with the system, McDaniel said the schools also keep records of attendance numbers. Both numbers fluctuate throughout the school year.
The school system also serves additional students in its adult education and preschool programs.