Clovis Unified Experiences an Increase in Students

August 27, 2008 11:20:42 PM PDT
Lots of new faces at Clovis Unified this year ... After a year of minimal growth ... Several schools in the district are reporting significant jumps in enrollment.It's only the third day of school ... so the "dust" hasn't quite settled yet ... but already one school principal tells us they are "happily" bursting at the seams.

Fort Washington Elementary sits in an older, "empty nester" neighborhood--where children have grown up and moved out. Yet a shiny, new portable has been added this year, to accommodate an increase of 80 new students.

Kalashian, Principal: "We are beginning to burst at the seams especially at some grade levels."

Principal Ann Kalashian says the increase is due to boundary changes two years ago-- and new families moving into the neighborhood.

Kalashian: "We added new teachers at 2nd grade this year-- we have a one-two combination because of growth this year ? we have a new kindergarten teacher this year."

Several schools in the district are experiencing a growth in students after a year of flat enrollment.

Kelly Avants: "Kids came back on Monday and we have been looking daily at our enrollment since that time-- looks to be up significantly-- 300 to 500 students is what we're anticipating."

Eight campuses-- including Garfield Elementary at Nees and Peach, have reached capacity. The district is still assessing the numbers and will either add new teachers or bus some kids to nearby schools.

Kelly Avants: "We've had years before where we were bursting at the gills, but because we've been able to open new schools, we're in good shape for the number of classrooms that we need."

They are also making room for kids transferring from other districts ...

A campaign this summer reminded parents they can use their work address to enroll their kids in clovis unified, even if they live outside the district.

Kalashian: "There have been quite a few who have taken advantage of that-- I believe it's just the district telling parents how wonderful we are and that it's a great opportunity to bring their kids over here. We'll take them."

The district hired 80 new teachers for this school year ... Some of those to fill positions of teachers who retired.

They do anticipate hiring more teachers once they get a better idea of how many students will be attending the district.

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