City system sees enrollment increase
Clif Knight, Hartselle Enquirer
First day enrollment in Hartselle's five schools totaled 3,063 students, or 60 more than the 3,003 that was reported at the same time a year ago, according to central office records.
"That's a good number. It represents steady growth," Superintendent Dr. Mike Reed said. "But it likely will fluctuate up and down before it settles down. We'll know more about what to expect after Labor Day."
Crestline showed the biggest enrollment change, increasing by 37 students, from 558 in 2004-05 to 595. F.E. Burleson followed with a gain of 31, from 411 to 442. Hartselle High picked up two, from 878 to 880; Hartselle Junior High fell by eight, from 724 to 716; and Barkley Bridge dropped by two, from 432 to 430.
"One of the fascinating things I've learned about this school system is that out-of-district parents will stand in line to get their children enrolled," Reed said. "That's not something I've experienced at other places I've been. It's a good compliment to the school system as well as the community."
Reed called the first day of school "busy and very successful."
"I'm pleased to report that all of our air conditioning systems worked except the one at the high school band room. It had to be replaced. Also, we had no problems with transportation. That's a credit to our maintenance and bus people who worked hard over the summer to get everything ready to go. They did a good job."
He pointed out all 27 of the school system's buses passed a recent state inspection without a single deficiency.
"There are a couple of areas we have to tweak," he added." Instruction-wise, all teachers are required to have a lesson plan.
"Secondly, I understand there are some problems with the new traffic flow pattern at the junior high. We beg for the patience and indulgence of our parents. It will take some time for everyone to get used to it, and we are looking at all options. I am urging parents to always remember that it's for the safety and welfare of our students."
Parents, or others who drop off and pick up students are now required to enter the campus via the south entrance to the J P. Cain Stadium parking lot and follow a single traffic lane to a designated loading and unloading zone on the south side of the school campus. The traffic lane in front of the school is limited to bus traffic before and after school hours.
Principal Don Pouncey said he thought morning traffic moved satisfactorily the first day of school.
"The line of traffic had disappeared and we had all of the students inside by 8 a.m.," he said. "We know it's something new and it will take awhile for things to settle down. But we ask parents to be patient and supportive. We only want to protect the safety and welfare of our students."
Some parents reported having to stay in a line of traffic for up to 30 minutes to drop off their children and up to 45 minutes before they could pick them up on the first day of school.