Albemarle Co. Schools Seeing More Students Than Expected
ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - With a new school year underway, Albemarle County now says seven of its schools are overcrowded.
"This school year we have welcomed more students than we were anticipating. Certain schools have seen exceeded our projections," said Rosalyn Schmitt, chief operation officer.
The division had estimated it would receive about 200 new students, but that number actually stands at 336. School leaders say enrollment projections are not a precise science, adding that it's always challenging to determine the number of new students.
Brownsville Elementary and Cale Elementary are experiencing the brunt of the growth this year. Both schools have added additional mobile learning units.
"We want to make sure we have adequate space for all our students, and sometimes we don't have enough space in our buildings," Schmitt said.
School leaders have dealt with growth in the western part of the county and on the Route 29 corridor, but now they're seeing a spike just south of Charlottesville.
"We don't know entirely where all the growth is coming from. This year I think we were 90-students over projection at Cale Elementary School. That's five classrooms. What do you do?" Albemarle County School Board Member Kate Acuff said.
Ten schools in Albemarle County face some sort of an overcrowding issue in the coming years. Now the school board has to tackle solutions, including renovation and expansion projects over the next five years.
"We cannot keep up with our capital needs because of the growth," said Acuff.
A long-term plan calls for the construction of a new elementary school in the northern part of Albemarle County for more than $20 million. A new high school center is also in that plan, and could cost up to $30 million.
A new round of projections is due next month, and expected to show the same upward trend.