By the Numbers

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By James Roberts

First week school enrollment numbers have provided few surprises for administrators this year.

Attendance is up at both districts. Taylor County Schools' attendance rose 69 students from last year to 2,688. Campbellsville Independent gained 35 students for a total of 1,093.

At Taylor County, the only school to increase individual enrollment so far is the elementary, which added 80 students, according to Angela Wheat, Taylor County director of pupil personnel. After the first week of classes, the school has 1,190 students.

Enrollment at TCES, Wheat said, prompted the addition of a new kindergarten class.

"We had to open one more kindergarten classroom. That wasn't anticipated. We don't add a classroom until the students are there."

New TCES Principal Brian Clifford's first week as principal of the state's largest elementary went well.

"We had a few glitches with our new morning and afternoon procedures," he said. "We are continuing to work on that. The students, staff and parents here are second-to-none. It is going really well and I'm loving every second of it."

Whether the population is large or small, Clifford said, the need is the same - to help students achieve.

The start of school at TCES did pick up some statewide attention, as a couple of parents appeared on WHAS 11 news saying that mold and mildew are making students sick.

Taylor County Health Department officials were expected to inspect the school Tuesday.

On Tuesday afternoon, Clifford said the health department inspection resulted in a score of 95 out of 100. The only two problems identified were two ceiling tiles that need to be replaced.

"We are addressing those issues with our custodians and maintenance people," Clifford said. "If there is anything wrong, we want to fix it. We don't want to hide anything."

Clifford suspects any illnesses students might have upon returning to school have more to do with their being exposed to large groups of their peers.

Elsewhere in the District, Taylor County Middle enrollment dropped to 648, slightly less than last year's 655. Taylor County High had 850 students after the first week, a few students shy of last year's 854.

The numbers will rise during the first month of the school year, Wheat said, especially at TCES.

"We see a leveling off after Labor Day."

Over at Campbellsville Independent, all three schools saw enrollment increases heading into the first full week of class.

As of Monday, the high school saw the biggest increase from last year with 318 students, an increase of 20. Campbellsville Elementary added 14 students for a total of 470. Campbellsville Middle had 305, one more than last year.

"It's pretty much what we expected," said Campbellsville Director of Pupil Personnel and Food Services Jeff Richardson.

So far, things are going well at Campbellsville, he said.

"We're happy. This is the biggest enrollment since 2005-2006."

That year, the District had 1,085 students.

The District was expected to do a full-week count yesterday. Richardson expected to see a significant increase with that count.

"We'll gain around 20 to 30 kids after the first two weeks," he said. "Each school enrolled three or four today [Aug. 11]. Each school will gain at least five or six students by the end of the week."

Attendance will stop fluctuating around Labor Day, Richardson said.

For a number of reasons, Richardson said, some students simply haven't enrolled yet. Vacations, summer sports and illness are the usual reasons for late enrollment, he said.

Typically, the District gains and loses a few more students around Christmas break, according to Richardson.

When students returned to class last Wednesday, they went straight to work, Richardson said.

"That's why we start with a short week. It's hard to jump right back in after being out all summer."

- Staff Writer James Roberts can be reached at 465-8111 Ext. 226 or by e-mail at writer@cknj.com. Comment on this story at www.cknj.com.