Enrollment up slightly in SSISD
Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor

Aug. 23, 2005 -- Enrollment at Sulphur Springs Independent School District once again is on the rise this year, pushing the overall student population to 4,154 as of the first week of school, according to information provided by district Director of Elementary Education and Testing Connie Mabe.

Last year, the district had 4,146 students enrolled in classes at the start of the school year, up from the 4,113 students enrolled as of Aug. 26, 2003, and 4,008 enrolled on Aug. 25, 2002.

However, while the overall student population was higher, some schools and classes experienced declining enrollment. Three fewer students were enrolled at Beginnings Learning Center than one year ago, when classes were maxed out at 60, with several still on a waiting list to get in. Early Childhood Learning Center’s student population declined to 505 this year, the same number of students as the first week of school in 2003 and 13 more than in 2002. Last year the school had 525 students enrolled.

All four of the district’s elementary schools had a slight overall increase in enrollment. Austin was up four students to 205, Bowie up two to 351, Lamar up two to 285 and Travis down eight to 351.

Austin has continued to show increases, from count of 181 in 2003 and 182 in 2002.

Bowie’s population continues to be less than the 353 posted just two years ago, but ahead of 2002 when 346 were enrolled.

Lamar has reached a-three year high. In 2002, only 277 students were enrolled at Lamar.

Travis saw an enrollment drop from last year, when 259 students were enrolled in classes as of the first week of school.

At the elementary level, only two class sections exceeded the state class size regulation restricting class sizes to 22 students in kindergarten through fourth grades, according to Texas Education Code.

This year’s third grade accounts for the overcrowding. At Austin, there are 49 students enrolled in two classes while Lamar has 69 students enrolled in three classes. Travis is also getting close to the limit with 87 students in four sections. Bowie can still accommodate five more students.

Generally, the school district is able to submit a request to the state for a class size waiver when there are only a handful of students in excess of the limit, and not enough to warrant the addition of a new class section.

Douglas Intermediate School had 20 more students this year than one year ago and 26 more than in 2003.

Sulphur Springs Middle School’s enrollment was virtually the same, with only one more student registered at the school than the 902 signed up last year. In 2003, SSMS’s enrollment had risen to 865, up from the 840 enrolled one year before.

Sulphur Springs High School had 10 more students as of the first week of school this year than in 2004, and 39 more than in 2002. However, the 1,181 enrolled this year at SSHS still lags behind 2003’s enrollment by 27.

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