Some Pasco schools get unexpected growth as classes near
Oakstead Elementary School is on target to enroll its largest student body ever, even after having its attendance zones redrawn twice in recent years to take children out.
Principal Tammy Kimpland said Thursday that registration from meet-the-teacher day had pushed her population over 1,130 students, nearly 50 above the district's projected number for the school.
And it's not alone. Wiregrass Ranch High, the district's biggest high school, also was showing about 50 more students than its projections, which already looked to see the student body grow by about 100. Even some smaller schools, such as Cotee River Elementary, were experiencing larger than expected enrollments as the first day of classes approached.
"Certainly there are some pockets of people moving in," planning director Chris Williams said.
He called the early figures "dicey," noting that until students start showing up for school, it's unclear how many are in the computer systems who won't attend. But in hot growth areas such as Oakstead and Wiregrass Ranch, he said, the numbers usually hold.
Overall, Williams said, the district anticipates only moderate growth. Some schools are shrinking, as projected, while others are stable. The ones that are exceeding expectations could require staffing changes sooner rather than later, though, he added, saying that his department is keeping close watch on the reports.