After 1 year and 8 months at The Augusta Chronicle, I am moving on to be the executive editor of the Statesboro Herald in the home of Georgia Southern University. I enjoyed my time in Augusta. I learned a lot. I will miss my co-workers and friends. But I also am excited about the new opportunity I have. I wish everyone at The Chronicle the best.
Posted October 18, 2010 02:44 pm - Updated October 20, 2010 12:48 pm

Richmond County school switch story explained

Students returning to class earlier this year

Because there is a question that has been raised on the forums about my story on students changing schools frequently in Richmond County, I am going to try my best to iron that out here.

 

The lead, "The number of students in Richmond County public schools hasn't changed in the past year," refers to the fact that there were 32,426 students enrollment in district schools as of Oct. 8, the end of the first nine-weeks marking period. That number is 34 students fewer than at the same time last year.

 

In taking Laney High School as a case in point, I was comparing enrollment numbers during on those same dates - Oct. 8, 2010, and Oct. 9, 2009. The withdrawal codes I cited at Laney were in the first nine weeks of this school year, so between Aug. 9 and Oct. 8, 2010. And the quote from Lou Svehla about 10,000 students districtwide with a withdrawal code referred to the first nine weeks of last year, so between Aug. 10 and Oct. 9, 2009. That is just less than a third of the 32,460 students enrolled last year after the first nine weeks.

 

The number of students overall with a withdrawal code for this year wasn't available Friday, but this is something I will check on in coming weeks.

 

For those who say Laney is a special case, yes, it does have those new programs - the Advanced Placement magnet and the changes brought about by the School Improvement Grant. Even so, its numbers fell generally in line with the overall district numbers, in terms of about one-third of students (289 out of 729, or 39 percent) had a with a withdrawal code, and 188 of them (26 percent based on that 729 enrollment) transferring to another Richmond County public school.

 

Finally, for those who thought only six schools saw significant changes, I only included the top three gainers and top three decliners for the sake of space. Here is the entire list of schools' first nine-weeks enrollments for 2009-10 and 2010-11:

 

Glenn Hills High: 2009-10, 946; 2010-11, 1,046; change, +100

 

Reynolds Elementary: 2009-10, 703; 2010-11, 776; change, +73

 

Tutt Middle: 2009-10, 489; 2010-11, 562; change, +73

 

Morgan Road Middle: 2009-10, 502; 2010-11, 574; change, +72

 

Wilkinson Gardens Elementary: 2009-10, 502; 2010-11, 562; change, +60

 

Warren Road Elementary: 2009-10, 504; 2010-11, 561; change, +57

 

Spirit Creek Middle: 2009-10, 438; 2010-11, 489; change, +51

 

Glenn Hills Middle: 2009-10, 661; 2010-11, 707; change, +46

 

W.S. Hornsby K-8: 2009-10, 682; 2010-11, 728; change, +46

 

Sego Middle: 2009-10, 715; 2010-11, 757; change, +42

 

Davidson Fine Arts Magnet: 2009-10, 681; 2010-11, 722; change, +41

 

Terrace Manor Elementary: 2009-10, 323; 2010-11, 359; change, +36

 

Alternative School: 2009-10, 135; 2010-11, 169; change, +34

 

Freedom Park Elementary: 2009-10, 807; 2010-11, 826; change, +19

 

Barton Chapel Elementary: 2009-10, 536; 2010-11, 554; change, +18

 

Murphey Middle: 2009-10, 494; 2010-11, 512; change, +18

 

A.B. Merry Elementary: 2009-10, 341; 2010-11, 358; change, +17

 

Glenn Hills Elementary: 2009-10, 491; 2010-11, 507; change, +16

 

Goshen Elementary: 2009-10, 449; 2010-11, 463; change, +14

 

Lake Forest Hills Elementary: 2009-10, 549; 2010-11, 563; change, +14

 

Lighthouse Care Center of Augusta: 2009-10, 47; 2010-11, 57; change, +10

 

Windsor Spring Elementary: 2009-10, 538; 2010-11, 547; change, +9

 

Garrett Elementary: 2009-10, 297; 2010-11, 305; change, +8

 

Hains Elementary: 2009-10, 362; 2010-11, 369; change, +7

 

National Hills Elementary: 2009-10, 232; 2010-11, 237; change, +5

 

Bayvale Elementary: 2009-10, 370; 2010-11, 374; change, +4

 

Cross Creek High: 2009-10, 1,325; 2010-11, 1,328; change, +3

 

McBean Elementary: 2009-10, 526; 2010-11, 529; change, +3

 

Pine Hill Middle: 2009-10, 598; 2010-11, 599; change, +1

 

Rollins Elementary: 2009-10, 451; 2010-11, 450; change, -1

 

Augusta A&D (WestCare): 2009-10, 30; 2010-11, 26; change, -4

 

Southside Elementary: 2009-10, 420; 2010-11, 415; change, -5

 

Collins Elementary: 2009-10, 471; 2010-11, 465; change, -6

 

Diamond Lakes Elementary: 2009-10, 627; 2010-11, 621; change, -6

 

Meadowbrook Elementary: 2009-10, 602; 2010-11, 593; change, -9

 

Craig-Houghton Elementary: 2009-10, 401; 2010-11, 391; change, -10

 

Gracewood Elementary: 2009-10, 441; 2010-11, 429; change, -12

 

A.R. Johnson Magnet: 2009-10, 644; 2010-11, 627; change, -17

 

Jamestown Elementary: 2009-10, 399; 2010-11, 381; change, -18

 

Copeland Elementary: 2009-10, 422; 2010-11, 403; change, -19

 

Deer Chase Elementary: 2009-10, 628; 2010-11, 608; change, -20

 

Westside High: 2009-10, 852; 2010-11, 832; change, -20

 

Hepzibah Elementary: 2009-10, 452; 2010-11, 431; change, -21

 

Walker Magnet: 2009-10, 864; 2010-11, 843; change, -21

 

Langford Middle: 2009-10, 666; 2010-11, 644; change, -22

 

Wheeless Road Elementary: 2009-10, 505; 2010-11, 480; change, -25

 

Laney High: 2009-10, 757; 2010-11, 729; change, -28

 

Willis Foreman Elementary: 2009-10, 389; 2010-11, 359; change, -30

 

Lamar-Milledge Elementary: 2009-10, 423; 2010-11, 391; change, -32

 

Monte Sano Elementary: 2009-10, 392; 2010-11, 352; change, -40

 

Jenkins-White Elementary: 2009-10, 424; 2010-11, 380; change, -44

 

Blythe Elementary: 2009-10, 376; 2010-11, 329; change, -47

 

Tobacco Road Elementary: 2009-10, 569; 2010-11, 521; change, -48

 

Academy of Richmond County: 2009-10, 1,311; 2010-11, 1,244; change, -67

 

Hephzibah Middle: 2009-10, 543; 2010-11, 475; change, -68

 

Hepzibah High: 2009-10, 1,214; 2010-11, 1,134; change, -80

 

Butler High: 2009-10, 1,006; 2010-11, 920; change, -86

 

T.W. Josey High: 2009-10, 938; 2010-11, 813; change, -125

 

Richmond County School System: 2009-10, 32,460; 2010-11, 32,426; change, -34

 

It should be noted that even at those schools that appear to have small changes - for example, Rollins Elementary, which has one fewer student than it did last year, or Pine Hill Middle, which has one more - it is still possible that a number of students transferred into and out of those schools, but the overall difference in enrollment was nearly the same.

 

I will definitely look into this more in the future, with more in-depth data, to see just how extensive the "student mobility" factor is.