It is a month and a half into the school year and Greene County is shifting around teachers and students and adding classroom space, due to an unexpected influx of new students.
The county added about 60 new students to its rolls since last year, and William Monroe High School and Nathanael Greene Elementary School are feeling the gains the most. The high school has crowded hallways and a cafeteria that bursts at the seams during lunch times, and the school continues to add sections of different subjects. In fact, teachers are in their classrooms an extra period each day to accommodate the extra students.
"The graduating class was about 178," said Kyle Pursel, principal at William Monroe. "Our incoming freshman class was about 250."
A new fourth-grade teacher started Monday at Nathanael Greene, which means the school moved students around from other classes.
Greene County's 3,024-student enrollment is a 2 percent increase over last school year. The superintendent, Andrea Whitmarsh, says she has no explanation for how all those students ended up in Greene.
"We have been looking into the numbers. There's no one specific reason they're coming. There's no one place their parents are working or that they're living. They're coming in from all over the place," Whitmarsh said.
The school system expects to get an additional $333,000 from the state for the increased enrollment. On its list of big projects is a cafeteria expansion at William Monroe.
But Whitmarsh says it's risky to predict increased enrollment and budget extra resources before the school year starts. If those students never show up, then the schools have to make sudden cuts.
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