Enrollment Up in School System from Last August

August 18, 2014
Dwayne Page
Joey Reeder

Enrollment in the DeKalb County School System is up by fifty four students over last year at this time.

Total enrollment, as of Monday, August 18, was 3,034 compared to 2,980 last year on the third Monday of the school year, according to Joey Reeder, Attendance Supervisor.

"We're up by fifty four students county wide from where we were a year ago. Of course, this is an ever changing number and it will be changing daily from now until probably after Labor Day. Usually it's the Monday after Labor Day before you get numbers firmed up about who has moved in and moved out," Reeder said in an interview with WJLE.

DeKalb County High School (grades 9-12) has 844 students, an increase of twenty two students over one year ago.
DCHS Enrollment breaks down as follows:
Ninth graders:237
Tenth graders: 228
Eleventh graders: 179
Twelfth graders: 198

Enrollment at DeKalb Middle School ( grades 6-8) is 549, down by twenty four students from last August.
DMS Enrollment breaks down as follows:
Sixth graders: 170
Seventh graders: 182
Eighth graders: 197

Northside Elementary School's enrollment (grades 2-5) is 632, up by forty two students from last year at this time.
NE Enrollment breaks down as follows:
Second graders: 78
Third graders: 192
Fourth graders:182
Fifth graders: 181

Smithville Elementary School (Pre-K through 2nd grade) has 610 students, a decrease of four students from a year ago.
SES Enrollment breaks down as follows:
Pre-Kindergarten (4 year olds): 77
Pre-Kindergarten (3 year olds) 5
Kindergarten: 174
First graders: 216
Second graders: 138

Enrollment at DeKalb West School (Pre-K through 8th grade) is exactly the same as a year ago at 397 students.
DWS Enrollment breaks down as follows:
Pre-Kindergarten (4 year olds): 20
Kindergarten: 40
First graders: 27
Second graders: 49
Third graders:48
Fourth graders:42
Fifth graders:45
Sixth graders:43
Seventh graders:43
Eighth graders:40

Reeder explained that the big jump at Northside Elementary School is because a new second grade class has been added there.

Although there is no overcrowding at the elementary level, Reeder said the second grade is coming pretty close. Currently there are eleven second grade classes at Smithville Elementary and Northside Elementary combined with a total of 220 students or twenty per class. Reeder said there could be a drop off of second grade students if families move away due to the closing of Berry Nursery. "We are right at our peak with the second grade (Northside and Smithville Elementary). We're waiting to see if anybody leaves. One thing that has us concerned is with the closing of Berry Nursery, we really don't have any idea what that is going to do to our numbers. We don't know if a lot of those families are going to relocate or stay here. That's several families and quite a few kids so we really don't know yet how that will affect our numbers. We're almost to the point where we need an additional second grade teacher but if you hire a teacher and you have ten second graders move away than you're way under," Reeder told WJLE.

Meanwhile a portable classroom facility has been moved from DeKalb West School to DCHS to create space there for a math and special education class where teachers previously didn't have a room to themselves. The portable houses two classrooms. "The big problem at the high school is that we don't have enough classrooms for all the teachers we have. There are a lot of teachers that have to use other people's classrooms on their planning period. That's not ideal but they work through it," said Reeder.

Reeder encourages students to be in school on time every day when classes are in session. "According to Tennessee state law, once you miss five unexcused days in a school year you are considered truant. Juvenile Court Judge Bratten Cook, II has been a big friend to education. He realizes the importance of education and he wants all our students in school. He has been a big help," said Reeder.

"We have a website www.dekalbschools.net with an attendance page that answers your questions about truancy and getting your driver's license or if you lose those license because of absences or lack of academic progress, what you have to do in order to get those driver's licenses back. Our website is really informative. You can find out a lot there about all of our programs. I encourage people to use that. A lot of times people want to pick up the phone and call the school to ask questions. Now you can go straight to that website and more than likely get your questions answered," said Reeder.

Meanwhile, local businesses are urged to help promote the school system's "READ 20 INITIATIVE" by displaying signs at their establishments. "Anybody with a business interested in putting a sign in front of their business may call 597-4084 and we'll get you a sign," said Reeder.

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