Local School Districts Battle Student Drought as New Academic Year Starts

By: April Douglas
By: April Douglas

Laura Glenn and her daughter Daphne are getting orientated with Cobb Middle School. It's a popular pick among parents and pupils because of its science and technology magnet program.

Laura Glenn says, "We looked at all the magnet programs and we liked Cobb's science and technology, since that is the wave of the future and because of its location."

Before the magnet program Cobb was struggling with student enrollment, as was Fairview Middle before the pre-IB Program was implemented. Now, the tide has turned for two other schools.

Bill Montford, Superintendent, says, “We have two serious under-enrollment issues at both Riley and Nims."

The superintendent says it's a twofold issue: a shift in the housing boom and the school choice option; families are opting out of Riley and Nims.

Riley Elementary has room for 577 students , yet only 328 are enrolled. It doesn't look any brighter for Nims Middle. It can handle 814 students, but just 341 are enrolled.

Montford adds, "Once enrollment gets so low almost become cost prohibited to continue to operate."

Educators hope it doesn't come to that, so a pre-IB Program is underway at Nims Middle School in the hopes of attracting students.

As for Riley Elementary School, officials are looking at adding some sort of magnet program there as well. This year, Riley lost more than 30 students, and Nims lost more than 60.


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