The Dawson County School System has a current enrollment of just under 4,000 students for the 2022-23 school year, according to a presentation given by Superintendent Nicole LeCave during the Jan. 10 meeting of the Dawson County Board of Education.
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As of Jan. 10, the combined number of students enrolled in all of the county’s seven schools is 3,945, a number that is approximately 100 students higher than the enrollment number at the same time one year ago, LeCave said.
Broken up by grade levels, the district has seen an increase of about 122 students in kindergarten through fifth grade and a decrease of about 22 students in grades six through 12, she added.
“Black’s Mill and Riverview are growing the fastest but most of our schools have experienced some increase,” LeCave said. “We did have a larger outgoing class at the high school which is why that number is lower now, but we are up a hundred students total from last year.”
LeCave added that, in the space of the last nine years, the district has grown by 437 students. Specifically comparing the FTE (full-time equivalent) enrollment numbers, which are calculated each October, she said that the average percentage increase has been 2.1 percent.
“We look at four percent when planning forward, so we’re well within that range as far as looking at our needs for our students and our staff,” LeCave said.
She also addressed the district’s capacity. Between all of the schools, the system can currently accommodate 6,105 students, she said, a number which is well above the students enrolled for this school year. Broken up by schools, each grade level’s capacity is well above its current enrollment, with the closest one being the junior high school which can support 750 students and currently serves 637.
“When we did our E-SPLOST approvals for this year the expansion at the junior high school is on there,” LeCave said. “Dawson County Middle School is at 900 because of the expansion that we did a year and a half ago so that added extra seats there — the expansion we are planning at Dawson County Junior High School will put them at that number as well.”
In all, LeCave said that the school system is well equipped to serve the number of students it currently has enrolled, in addition to continuing to accept new students and handle future growth.
“We are growing -- our enrollment is increasing, but at a rate that’s sustainable; you can see that in the percentages,” LeCave said.