County school system’s enrollment increases

Published 5:08 pm Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Enrollment at Chilton County schools is up 169 students from last year, according to preliminary numbers released by the school system.

The largest increase in enrollment was at Chilton County High School, where an average of 828 students have been enrolled so far this academic year, which began Aug. 11, compared to 757 last year, an increase of 71 students or 9.4 percent.


Click to enlarge

Clanton Elementary School (plus-65), Jemison High School (48) and Jemison Middle School (29) also had significant increases.

The largest decrease was at Clanton Intermediate School, where an average of 620 students have been enrolled this year compared to 669 last year, a decrease of 49 students or 7.3 percent.

Thorsby (minus-16) was the only other school to see a decrease of more than one student.

Total enrollment across the system is 7,756 this year, compared to 7,587 last year, an increase of 2.2 percent.

Jemison Elementary School is still the county’s largest school in terms of enrollment, with 924 students.

Reported enrollment figures are important because they’re the basis for state and federal funding.

Last year, for example, Chilton County High School was just a few students away from qualifying for additional assistant principal and counselor units, Superintendent of Education Tommy Glasscock said.

The state board of education funds a certain amount of units at each public school in the state, based on enrollment. It’s up to the local boards of education to hire the actual teachers who fill those units.

Enrollment is determined at the start of each school year by averaging daily attendance totals. Decisions about number of units for each school are applied to the following school year.

The federal government can also assist school systems through “Class Size Reduction” funding, which allows for hiring additional employees during the school year.

If a school system does a poor job of determining and reporting enrollment, it can necessitate the use of local funds to hire additional employees, which drains the system’s funds.

Glasscock said it’s possible that some students have been pushed out of systems in Shelby County, and into Chilton County, because of the creation of separate school systems in Alabaster and Pelham.

Glasscock said he also thinks new students are being attracted to Chilton County schools because of progress in the areas of scheduling, technical education and dual enrollment.

“I think people see it as an opportunity,” he said. “I think our growth is going to continue.”

Below are enrollment totals for each school in Chilton County. The first number given is enrollment during the 2014-15 school year, while the second number is current enrollment.

•Chilton County High School: 757-828

•Clanton Elementary School: 754-819

•Clanton Intermediate School: 669-629

•Clanton Middle School: 702-710

•Isabella School: 655-654

•Jemison Elementary School: 924-924

•Jemison High School: 798-846

•Jemison Middle School: 531-560

•Maplesville School: 453-467

•Thorsby School: 713-697

•Verbena School: 631-631

•Total: 7,587-7,756