Last summer saw more students enroll in the Dublin City School District than this summer, although numbers this year are still considered higher than normal.
As of Aug. 17 not counting preschoolers, 15,560 students were enrolled in the district, said Tracey Miller, Dublin’s director of operations.
That’s an increase of 275 students from last year.
Miller predicts enrollment will increase by more than 300 students this year.
“It’s close to where we had projected,” he said.
During the past 10 years, the district has averaged between 240 and 250 new students per summer enrollment cycle, Miller said.
Last year was an anomaly; almost 500 students were added.
District growth can cause overcrowding in school common areas and cause the district to move teachers from one school to another, Miller said.
Growth in certain areas can also necessitate redistricting, which happened last academic year.
Using enrollment data as of Aug. 17, Griffith Thomas Elementary, Ann Simpson Davis Middle School and Dublin Jerome High School saw the most increases, Miller said.
Thomas added 84 students since the end of May for a total of 802 students, and district officials didn’t anticipate an increase quite that high, he said.
Davis added 67 students, for a total of 978 students, higher than the enrollment projection of 917.
Jerome added 126 students, an increase on par with district projections, for a total of 1,677 students.
Miller said he thinks growth at Jerome will continue until the northwest quadrant of the district builds out.
The district continues to see growth in the northwest, at Jerome and Glacier Ridge Elementary School, Miller said.
When attendance boundaries were redrawn last year, officials moved students from Glacier Ridge to Wyandot Elementary School.
Even with that adjustment, Glacier Ridge has increased by 50 students this summer.
Future redistricting depends upon where the district sees growth, Miller said.
Miller said the district is growing in the area of the Jerome Village development.
That 1,500-acre development will have 2,200 residences when fully completed.
District Planner Ralph Feasel listed several other residential developments in progress in the district’s northwest quadrant, which he specified as anything north of U.S. Route 33 and west of the Scioto River. The developments included Celtic Crossing, Britton Woods, Deer Run Estates, the final area in Muirfield Village, Waterford Estates, Kaufman Reserve, Mitchell Crossing, Mitchell Highlands and Riviera.
Some of these developments are just starting to construct homes, while others already have some homes built out, Feasel said.
The developments together include a total of 465 single-family homes.
For many years, about 300 houses per year were added to the district, Feasel said, and the majority of those were in the northwest quadrant.
“We were just steady,” he said.
Growth has decreased to 200-some houses annually, he said, although that number still affects the district.
For enrollment projection purposes, district staff members say a single-family home generates half an elementary student, a quarter of a middle school student and a quarter of a high school student.
Miller said in preparation for this academic year, student growth caused the district to transfer two teachers from one elementary school building to another late in the summer.
“That’s very upsetting to them,” he said.
Student growth has also caused lunchtimes in the district’s secondary schools to become crowded.
Common spaces such as gyms and libraries are also crowded in buildings at or over capacity across the district.
At Dublin Coffman High School, the band is so large students can’t all practice together in the space.
Along with an alternative high school option, district officials previously recommended the addition of two new elementary schools and a middle school as a response to enrollment projections.
Land has already been identified for an elementary school in Jerome Village.
The second school would be located in the southwest quadrant, near Thomas, Riverside, Wright and Indian Run elementary schools, Miller said, but that decision depends upon where in the district students are added.
A preliminary location for the middle school is somewhere in the district’s northwest quadrant.
“We realize that this is a great problem to have,” Miller said.
“Growth is a sign of health, and this is a very, very healthy district.”