Jasper City Superintendent Robert Sparkman and Walker County Superintendent Jason Adkins said the systems have seen an influx of students district-wide this year.
“We’re up some — at 2,744 — which is up from last year,” Sparkman said. “We really try to control enrollment and keep it at about 2,700. We like to be a little over; we don’t like to be under. That’s a good size for us as a district.”
County schools have seen a rise in numbers as well. According to Adkins, the county system gained approximately 100 students this year as compared to last year, totaling at 8,141.
“The fastest growing high school in the system right now would be Cordova High School. They’re up several students,” Adkins said.
He added, when discussing enrollment, “You can’t control it. There’s no staying around anything. You just try to have school, educate the ones that come, and that’s all depending on economic situations and opportunities for their parents and where they migrate to. You’re just not in control of that.”
Cordova High School seems to have a surge of students this year — 490 and counting, according to reports. There have been increases in the student population every year at Cordova, growing from 355 during the 2009-2010 school year to 450 last year. Sources say hallways are now crowded, no rooms are left vacant, and extra desks have been ordered.
Oakman High School Principal Patrick Gann said his school also has grown from 265 last year up to 306 this year. There was no need for extra desks or lockers, but Gann said the school gained a new English teacher and a new special education teacher.
“We graduated 54 (students) last year. The normal Oakman class size is between 50 and 60 students, and the middle school has had an influx of kids over the years,” Gann said. “This year’s ninth grade, we have 82 kids in that group, and the year before that we had 86 kids.”
Gann thinks the attractiveness of the new middle school and a change in bus routes over a course of years have added to the school’s growth.