SHEPHERDSVILLE - While it may pose some headaches, growth is good when it comes to a school district.
In Bullitt County, the enrollment numbers continue to grow, even if it might have been a lot more than one high school expected.
At the end of the fourth day, enrollment in Bullitt County was 12,652 compared to 12,466 at the same point the year before.
The biggest areas of growth are coming at the high school level, which will kick-start the district’s non-ending series of construction work back into high gear.
“We sure didn’t expect 1,400 more students,” said Bullitt East assistant principal Dan Clemens.
While the number decreased some by the fourth day (1,332), opening day enrollment at Bullitt East High hit 1,400 students. That was 112 more than the previous opening day. And the fourth day enrollment was still 99 ahead of last year.
Clemens said it has already caused some changes at the school, which is now the largest in the district.
First, a fifth lunch period would be added and that would result in some changes to the bell schedule.
Several teachers are now moving from room to room thanks to a cart.
And lockers are gone.
“It has been an excellent start despite the additional students,” said Clemens.
In fact, the first fire drill of the year saw all students out of the building in one minute, 52 seconds.
The numbers at the other two high schools are also up. At the end of the fourth day, North Bullitt moved into the second slot with 1,332 students, up 74 from the previous year. Bullitt Central had 1,261 enrolled on Monday, up 44 from the previous year.
In looking at the numbers across the district, Pat Smith-Darnell, director of pupil personnel, said the redistricting efforts over the past few years look to be working.
“It is great to be a growing district,” said Smith-Darnell.
While several individual schools are seeing larger growth than others, Smith-Darnell said the goal of getting each level to a certain enrollment is working. This included trying to increase the enrollment at some of the smaller schools.
“From what we are seeing and hearing, it has been a very good opening,” said Smith-Darnell. “There’s a lot of smiles, which is good.”
Superintendent Keith Davis visited six schools on opening day and saw a lot of positive things.
“It was an absolutely outstanding opening day,” said Davis, who began his fifth year at the helm. “The students and teachers seemed happy to be back. I heard the same story from other central office folks and the board members.
“We were blessed with great weather and very few air conditioning issues,” said Davis. “All in all, I wouldn’t change a thing.”
In looking at the high school numbers, Davis said that was anticipated and the facility planning committee made that part of its recommendations.
“Our new facilities plan has additions at all three schools as the top priority,” said Davis. “If the board approves, I anticipate that we will be ready to start construction next summer, with the extra space ready by the following year.”
Davis said getting approvals takes time but the district will make it through.
“Though somewhat tight, it isn’t any kind of emergency at this point and this year’s eighth-grade class is smaller than the ninth, so we’ll be OK,” said Davis.
Cedar Grove 434/-20
Lebanon Junction 392/-36
Mt. Washington 443/-13
Old Mill 439/-8
Pleasant Grove 509/-25
Bullitt Lick 449/-14
Mt. Washington 485/+3
Bullitt Central 1261/+44
Bullitt East 1385/+99
North Bullitt 1332/+74