Demopolis schools attendance grows

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 8, 2007

DEMOPOLIS &8212; Despite growth in attendance almost every year, officials of the Demopolis City School System say the facilities and student-to-teacher ratio within the system remain ready to handle the influx.

Custodian of School Funds Linda Agee said the average daily attendance of the system last school year was 2,457 students and that the system has continually seen a rise or hold in attendance for the past several years &8212; a trend she said she expects to continue within the system. She said the rise in attendance has remained relatively steady over the time period of growth, which allows the school system to anticipate any needs to expand its facilities prior to the increase.

Vickers said the system uses this data compiled from the past several years to look at the percentage of increase the schools have experienced. This increase is used to prepare the system for future strains it can expect both on its existing facilities and on the students-to-faculty ratio. Agee said the system prefers a low student-to-teacher ratio with more classes to effectively instruct students.

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To keep the students-to-teacher ratio the system wants, which ranges from the lowest ratio of 18 students to every teacher at the K-3 level and the highest where high school teachers are limited to teaching 180 students over a seven-period day, officials analyze and identify changes. One such anomaly is the abnormally large class entering eighth grade this year.

One outlay project coming up that is meant to prepare the system for its growth is the project at Westside Elementary that will add five classrooms, a resource room and a reception area at the front entrance. The system plans to add four more classrooms as well at Demopolis High School for the large upcoming eighth grade class.