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Archive for Thursday, August 24, 1995

HIGHER SCHOOL ENROLLMENT FORCES TEACHERS TO SHUFFLE

August 24, 1995

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Higher enrollment in some Lawrence elementary schools will mean some teachers will be in different schools next week.

Lawrence elementary school enrollment is up by 2 percent from last year, according to counts made on Wednesday, the first full day of school.

And that increase in students -- particularly at Sunflower and Quail Run -- has prompted school district officials to determine that some teachers must be moved to those schools from other schools.

According to statistics provided by the school district, 117 new students enrolled in the district's elementary schools this year, compared with the first day of school in 1994. Junior high school enrollment remained stable at 2,265, while the count at the high school was down by 22 students from last year's enrollment of 1,898.

However, the 22-student decrease among high school students represents only the students who were in attendance during first hour Wednesday, according to Bonnie Dunham, communications coordinator for the school district. It does not include any enrolled, but absent, students.

District officials said they anticipated the number of students in the Lawrence district will continue to increase. Last year, for example, enrollment increased by 16 from the first full day of school to Sept. 20, the day the state uses for official enrollment.

"We're still not at the enrollment we projected yet," said Craig Fiegel, assistant superintendent for administrative services. "We continue to see enrollment occurring, especially at the secondary level. We would anticipate that to continue at least until after Labor Day."

A total of 9,719 students were enrolled on Wednesday. Of those, 5,578 were in elementary school; 2,265 were in junior high; and 1,876 were in high school.

Meanwhile, district officials continue to pore over individual schools' enrollments to determine how many teachers might be moved to other schools. The key is how the enrollment projections made for each school -- and therefore how each school was staffed -- compare with the actual enrollments.

Randy Weseman, assistant superintendent for educational programming, said one teacher already has been moved from New York School to Sunflower School. New York's first-day enrollment this year was down by 41 students, compared with last year; Sunflower's first-day enrollment was up by 72 students, compared with last year.

And it appears, Weseman said, that two more teachers are needed at Quail Run, where the first-day enrollment was 84 higher than last year.

"I'm going to look at some schools and see how their staffing patterns break down," Weseman said.

He said he's trying to strike a balance between running an efficient school district and not disrupting too many teachers' and students' lives.

Weseman said he'd like to have the decisions made by the end of the week on which staff members will move where.

"In the long run," he said, "it's all going to work out."

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