Carroll student enrollment continues to decrease

By David Broyles -

Carroll County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Strader Blankenship during the Board of Education’s Sept. 13 meeting confirmed the District’s “Tenth Day of School Profile” shows a continued loss of students.

The profile is a compilation of attendance activity for the period from August 10 through August 23. The division total enrollment for August 23 was 3,696. This is 24 less students that the 3,270 projected division enrollment for 2016-2017. Blankenship told the board this trend was supported by The Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service’s research which predicts at least one more year of decline before attendance levels out.

Students in each school during this survey period were: Carroll County High (CCHS), 1,158; Carroll County Middle, 828; Fancy Gap Elementary, 144; Gladesboro Elementary, 113; Gladeville Elementary, 266; Hillsville Elementary, 476; Laurel Elementary, 206; Oakland Elementary, 177; St. Paul School, 328.

Enrollment comparison information indicates the biggest drop at CCHS was 23 in grade 11 with 20 less than anticipated. Laurel Elementary had 20 fewer also with the 11 less in kindergarten. Carroll Middle’s largest change was 22 less in seventh grade with increases in sixth and eighth grade leaving the school with four less students. Fancy Gap had eight less students with the largest decrease in first grade. Gladesboro Elementary was down seven and Gladeville Elementary had 14 fewer students than in the 2015-2016 school year.

Hilsville Elementary, in spite of being down 16 students in the first grade, was only three students down compared to last year. Oakland Elementary had a deficit of seven students. According to the report, the grand totals of students for the Profile in this district represent 90 less students.

The Weldon Cooper Center is connected with The University of Virginia and seeks to anticipate and forecast change and serve as a resource to those needing to recognize and address that change. Typically this is done through policy analysis, applied research, technical assistance, leadership development, survey research, consultation and training for state and local officials, community leaders, as well as members of the general public. The Center’s 60 member staff includes experts in public policy and management, leadership, demographics, economics and finance, politics, organizational development, survey research, workforce issues and experiential education.

Blankenship told the board Laurel Elementary was first in the percentage of attendance for August with 97.99 percent attending with an average daily membership of around 208. Fancy Gap Elementary was second with 97 percent, Hillsville Elementary had 96.90 percent and St. Paul had 96.89 percent.

The board appointed Chair Brian Spencer to serve on the local final review committee of the Virginia Department of Education Virginia Teacher of the Year program. This committee will screen from one applicant from each school to one nominee to represent Carroll in the State competition. This candidate receives $500 to spend on materials and supplies for their class or school.

The other members of the committee are Strader Blankenship, Alvin Davidson, Jeanne Edwards, Sheila Lintecum, Christine Bomberger, Catherina Anderson, Sheila Hommema, Jennifer McGrady, Margie Quesenberry and Elizabeth Motley.

David Broyles may be reached at 276-779-4013 or on Twitter@CarrollNewsDave.

By David Broyles

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