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Hillsborough schools are losing students in the younger grades, report shows

The 20 day count shows ever more crowding in southeast Hillsborough.

Middle school is no longer where the Hillsborough County School District loses the most students.

This year’s 20-day numbers show a decline in elementary school enrollment.

At 84,246, the district has 1,287 fewer children in its elementary schools than it did in the 20th day of school in 2018.

The biggest elementary losses were from Davis (116) and Twin Lakes (100).

Others that lost close to 100: Cannella (83), Cimino (81), Lowry (90), Mintz (82), and Oak Park (98).

In the older grades, Adams and Jennings middle schools each lost more than 100 students while Greco gained 183.

Chamberlain, Brandon, Middleton and Wharton High Schools lost a combined 605, with Wharton High accounting for the highest number at 212. When all high schools were taken together, there was a net loss of 417 students.

The Tampa Bay Times has not yet received migration reports that will pinpoint where these students are going. One possibility at Wharton and at Freedom (which lost 127) is the new Kiran Patel charter high school in Thonotosassa.

It is also clear from the numbers that the construction projects now under way in south county cannot happen quickly enough.

Shields Middle School in Ruskin picked up 169 more students, for a total of 1,743. Eisenhower grew by 121, and now serves 1,403. And, with a net gain of 192 students, Lennard High School is accommodating 3,315 students.