Coffee County Board of Education members will have to work over the next few months on a strategy to deal with continued system growth.
Superintendent Kevin Killingsworth said at a Sept. 12 work session that enrollment numbers have increased at every school except Zion Chapel.
The highest increases have been at New Brockton Elementary School and New Brockton High School, due in large part to Enterprise City Schools’ implementation of tuition for out-of-district students.
Killingsworth presented numbers dating back to Aug. 2017 showing enrollment on the fifth day of school. From Aug. 2017 to Aug. 2019, Kinston numbers increased from 492 to 516 while Zion Chapel numbers decreased from 810 to 760.
NBHS increased from 375 to 460 students over that same period, and NBES increased from 384 to 625 students.
“I would like to add that each and every week we have increased enrollment at New Brockton Elementary School,” Killingsworth said. “We’re up now to actually a little over 650 students, because we’ve had an additional 25 plus students enroll since that fifth day of school. We’ve had an additional two at New Brockton High School.
“I wanted to present these numbers to the board because we have some things to look at going forward with our capital projects and what we hope to accomplish in the coming months.”
Numbers also do not include 88 pre-k students who are not part of the foundation program.
In Spring 2018, ECS passed its tuition policy. To deal with increased enrollment, sixth graders at New Brockton were moved to the high school and additional bus drivers and teachers were employed.
Enrollment continued to increase through Oct. 2018.
In May 2019, Killingsworth said enrollment increased again at NBHS and NBES and are projected to continue to increase.
“This summer, we worked to maximize every available space for our upcoming school year to house our students,” he said. “Right now, on the New Brockton Elementary School campus we have a total of seven modular classrooms that are filled. They are full. We have used every appropriate space inside the building to be able to house all of our staff, students and teachers -- and we’re actively enrolling students weekly. We welcome these students with open arms and want to be able to educate them, keep them safe and feed them so we must develop a plan going forward to be able to do that.”