School board gets update on student enrollment

By TAYLOR MURCHISON-GALLAGHER

STAFF WRITER

The Board of Education met on Wednesday, Nov. 7, and the director of human resources for the Bristol school district gave a report on the 2018-2019 school year enrollment numbers, as of Oct. 1.

“I want you to know that over the last four or five years, you have become a more diverse school district, the numbers do bear that out,” said Dr. Sam Galloway, director of HR.

District wide, there are 22 more students than there were on Oct. 1, of the previous school year. At the kindergarten through fifth grade levels, Galloway reported that the average class size is approximately 21 students per class. But, Galloway said, “at the middle school level, it is tight.”

Galloway broke down the information by each school.

Mountain View, Edgewood, and Hubble are all “steady,” but Hubbell is down by 19 students. Ivy Drive is down by 17 students, and Galloway will be keeping an eye on the second grade, as the class sizes are “22, 23, 23.” Similarly, he will be watching the fifth grade at South Side School, as the sizes are “25, 26, 26.” He will also be keeping an eye on grades two and five at Greene-Hills, and the numbers for second grade have also gone up.

“Last year, we were looking at registration numbers month by month, and we looked over the course of nine months, and over the course of nine months enrollment went up five months and down four months, but not by much. So, the numbers do fluctuate but not by a lot, but we do have a lot of inter-district movement,” said Galloway.

Stafford School is down by 37 students, which Galloway thinks may be due to the kind of homes in the neighborhoods around the school. For example, he said it could have something to do with the fact that in that area, there are many single family homes, when in other parts of the city, there are more rental properties, and thus more school aged children in a neighborhood.

At West Bristol, grade five numbers have gone up, with class sizes at “27, 26, 26, and 26, with a cap of 28.”

Total enrollment at Chippens Hill is 782 students. At Greene-Hills, “300 in the upper grades,” with an approximate total of 925 students. Northeast has a total of 501 students. West Bristol, “330 in the upper grades, and over 900 total student population.”

The overall increase is about 22 students, but Galloway said this number will change once the invoices from magnet schools comes in.

At the high school level, Galloway reported that Bristol Central is up by 69 students, and Bristol Eastern is down by 23 students.

“If you look at how the town is laid out, that starts to bear out some of our conversations when we’re trying to really figure out why some schools are bulging and some schools are steady,” said Galloway.