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School system looking at options for growing Flint Hill

COVINGTON --Student enrollment at Flint Hill Elementary School continues to climb, and school system officials may soon have to step in to help manage it.

Officials with the Newton County School System reported Tuesday to the Newton County Board of Education during its monthly work session that student enrollment at Flint Hill has topped 1,200 students with 1,210 students enrolled in prekindergarten through fifth grades, as of March 7. Between 84 and 207 students are in each grade level.

School board member Shakila Henderson-Baker said that she was concerned about the enrollment, as she has been in the past with the increasing numbers.

"When you look at (Flint Hill), compared to the other (elementary schools), it's large, and they're elementary students," Baker said.

Flint Hill's student enrollment totaled 1,183 in December, up from 1,105 in August.

Lee Peck, executive director for School Improvement at NCSS, told Baker that he and other officials began developing a plan to handle the increased enrollment on Tuesday. He said they are looking at allotments and determining what steps to take next.

Samantha Fuhrey, deputy superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction at NCSS, said they should have a plan developed in the next few days, and it may include improvement in personnel.

She said that an elementary school with 800 students earns one principal and two assistant principals, but once enrollment totals 1,200, system officials need to look at adding another assistant principal.

"We're addressing a plan to determine what happens when enrollment gets to between 1,200 and 1,300 students," Fuhrey said. "Before, we haven't had an elementary school that large up until this point."

The school opened in August 2011. The 157,700-square-foot school was built on more than 80 acres of land and can accommodate up to 1,500 students.

Other elementary schools in the county have student enrollment between about 450 and 900 students.

Additionally, there may need to be more front office and specials classes staff, which are the same as some of the smaller schools.

"We need to reconsider those things," Fuhrey said.

Peck said that school Principal Lori Thomas has submitted a list of priorities to system officials to let them know the school's list of needs in order, since she knows that the budget is a concern.

Student enrollment has grown from 19,066 last March to 19,151 this March at its 24 facilities, according to the most recent enrollment report. Enrollment was projected between 17,621 and 19,224 students for the school year, and the 2012-13 school year began with 18,984 students enrolled.

"We've seen quite an increase," Peck said.

Comments

dennistay53 1 year, 1 month ago

By all means make sure they have enough principals assistant principals and front office staff. Enough teachers not a top priority huh ?

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John 1 year, 1 month ago

Amazing, in the day I went to a high school with 1500 students grades 10-12 one Principal & One Assistant Principal and same in Junior High (grades 7 thru 9).

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Frustrated 1 year, 1 month ago

Why such a big difference in th number of students in the other schools? A difference of 300 to 800 students makes you believe there should be some adjustment of the students and not more staff. Wouldnt it be easier and cheaper to do that instead?

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Gafan4life 1 year, 1 month ago

Many of the older elementary schools are small and could not house as many students. I teach at one of the smaller schools (around 450 students) and I am still at maximum class size for my grade. Shuffling students is not the answer.

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Newtownqq 1 year, 1 month ago

I was at this meeting when the Executive Director for School Improvement spoke. Seems he needs to be doing a much better job! He could not even answer basic questions from the BOE with out refering to others for information about enrollment. Maybe we need to see how much improvement he has provided the District. This is another example of waste!!! We need to hire and support our teachers not an Executive Director for School Improvement, maybe he needs to take a trip to Alcovy.

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Gafan4life 1 year, 1 month ago

Look at the data from the school where he was principal if you want to see how much school improvement has come from his leadership. As for the amount of improvement he has provided to the district, he has not held the current position for a full year yet--Rome wasn't built in a day!!

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mansfield 1 year, 1 month ago

Did some tv personality mention that Flint Hill is the best elementary school in Georgia?

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John 1 year, 1 month ago

Didn't hear that comment but NCSS would be all over that comment especially for a school that is only in it's 2nd year. And that would be really signifcant if the Georgia Public School Sytem wasn't rated so close to the bottom nationally with only Mississippi & Louisiana trailing behind. Been that way for 17 years that I am aware.

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Newtownqq 1 year, 1 month ago

Some school was on cnn I think was on cnn. For that camera thing they wanna buy

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