CCS enrollment increases slightly

Published 2:29 pm Friday, August 17, 2018

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Enrollment numbers for the 2018-2019 school year show an increase of 100 students in Chilton County Schools for kindergarten through 12th grade.

CCS has a total enrollment for kindergarten through 12th grade of 7,545.

CCS Superintendent Jason Griffin said he was “excited we have growth and not decline.”

Several schools are serving additional students this year through the addition of state First Class preschool classes for 4-year-old students.

“The general thought has been there is lots and lots of growth in Jemison because of an influx of people in the county, but if you look at the numbers they are actually pretty balanced out from last year,” Griffin said.

Clanton Intermediate, Jemison Intermediate, Jemison High, Isabella High (K-12), Thorsby High (K-12) and Maplesville High (K-12) schools each had increase of less than 30 students each.

This school year, the out-of-county fee was waived for Maplesville High School, the smallest K-12 school in the system.

Griffin said the decision to waive the school fee was made before he came into the position of superintendent.

“If the purpose of that was to increase enrollment, then it worked,” Griffin said.

The school has an additional 18 students in preschool for the first time. Assistant Superintendent Adriane Dennis said there are few options for child care or preschool in the area, so the addition of a state First Class preschool class meets a need.

Thorsby High School (K-12) had an increase of 44 students. Chilton County High School had an increase of 40 students.

Clanton Elementary, Clanton Middle, Jemison Elementary, Jemison Middle and Verbena High schools saw a slight decrease in enrollment.

However, Clanton Elementary increased preschool classrooms, and Verbena and Isabella also added 18 students each this year through preschool classrooms.

Enrollment in all Clanton schools is 2,832. Enrollment in all Jemison schools is 2,277.

Griffin said the increases and decreases in Clanton and Jemison were mostly driven by the difference between the grade moving up to the next school or graduating and the incoming class.

“Because we are not zoned, students can go anywhere they want to in this county … so this is not a reflection of who lives in these areas,” Griffin said.

He said this can make analyzing and comparing the data difficult.

Dennis said unless a student moves to a new physical address, they cannot switch schools after the third day of classes.

Griffin and Dennis said there are positives and negatives to not having zoning.