By LISA CAPOBIANCO
Student enrollment has currently remained steady overall for Bristol Public Schools.
As of Oct. 1, the district has a total student enrollment of 8,399 (this number includes the number of students who attend magnet schools or are placed out of district), reported Director of Human Resources Sam Galloway during a recent Board of Education meeting.
The district’s subtotal student enrollment (which includes students from grades Pre-K through 12) is 7,948. During the 2015-2016 school year, the subtotal was 8,031.
“We’re down probably about 80 or so students, and a district this size, the impact is minimal,” said Galloway.
Galloway said overall, the district’s K-5 average class size has remained constant from last year. The total K-5 average class size is 20.7.
“That’s good news for us,” said Galloway.
Current enrollment Edgewood School is 326, which is 16 fewer students than last year. Galloway and Deputy Superintendent of Schools Dr. Susan Moreau determined where staffing needed to be allocated to create the best balance possible.
“Two sections we’re eliminated from this school to create balance in regards to class size,” said Galloway.
At Greene-Hills School, two sections were lost, resulting in a total K-5 student enrollment size of 610. Last year enrollment was 639.
“We reallocated personnel,” said Galloway.
Galloway added that there was “a lot of movement” at Greene-Hills when the new school year began.
“If families can move in…and take care of business in the summer, that is the optimal situation,” said Galloway. “During the first two to three weeks of school, there was a lot of movement with students coming and going. Since that point in time, it has really balanced and evened out.”
Currently, Hubbell School’s student enrollment is 438.
Galloway said Hubbell is “holding steady.”
“The registrations have stopped at this point in time,” said Galloway. “We’ve been able to handle all the families who have come in to register.”
Enrollment also is stable at Ivy Drive School, which currently has 396 students. This number is similar to last year’s student enrollment, which was 405.
“There were no changes in the number of sections…from last year to this year,” said Galloway. “That was an easy lift for us.”
Stafford School, which has a current enrollment of 457, also saw no changes in its sections this year.
“The numbers seem solid from the beginning of the year to this point in time,” said Galloway. “We didn’t have a lot of movement of new registrations.”
A section was eliminated at Mountain View School, which now has a total of 368 students. Galloway said Mountain View’s enrollment is stable.
“In the beginning of the year, there was not a lot of activity with registrations,” said Galloway.
But when the school year began, activity was spiking at South Side School, which has a total enrollment of 489 students. But overall, said Galloway, South Side’s student enrollment is stable.
“I commend the leaders and teachers for their flexibility in quickly receiving students and getting them up to speed,” said Galloway.
However, a section was added at West Bristol School. Galloway said the only concern at West Bristol is in grade one, which has five sections, totaling 107 students.
At the middle school level, Galloway reported a slight concern at Chippens Hill, where its sixth grade class size has reached 265.
“They have a very large sixth grade, so we’re going to have to plan carefully as sixth grade rolls into grade seven for next year,” said Galloway.
Greene-Hills also has a “heavy” sixth grade class size, said Galloway. There are currently 113 sixth graders enrolled at Greene-Hills.
“We’re watching grade six, and we try to respond quickly to new registrations in that particular grade,” said Galloway.
Meanwhile, Northeast Middle School’s enrollment has held steady. Although West Bristol’s middle school enrollment also has held steady, said Galloway, its sixth grade enrollment is “substantial,” at 114.
At the high school level Galloway said “all is well” with student registration. Bristol Central High School’s student enrollment is down to 1,128, while Bristol Eastern High School’s enrollment is down to 1,199.
“They have more flexibility in regards to scheduling, creating space for new students, so we very rarely have issues with registrations at the high school level,” said Galloway.
During the meeting, Board of Education Chairman Chris Wilson commended Galloway and other district leaders for their work in balancing out the class sizes.
“Last year, there was a lot of community concern about class sizes,” Wilson said to Galloway during the meeting. “I know it’s a moving target and it’s very difficult to project, but it seems like you’ve done a great job balancing out across the district.”