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Hartselle City Schools sees record breaking enrollment

There are only six schools in the Hartselle School District and with a record number of enrolled students, that impact is felt even more. It even led to a need for some more teachers.

Posted: Aug 7, 2018 6:16 PM
Updated: Aug 7, 2018 7:02 PM

Hartselle City Schools are adding teachers due to record breaking student enrollment on Tuesday. As the first day of school started, about 200 more students walked through the doors than ever before in Hartselle.

Breaking records, although a good thing, can bring some challenges with it. There are only six schools in the Hartselle School District and with a record number of enrolled students, that impact is felt even more. It even led to a need for some more teachers.

"We are probably up about 75 to 80 students more than what we had planned for," Hartselle City Schools Superintendent Dr. Dee Dee Jones said.

Jones is excited about the growth in schools and says it stems from new surrounding businesses in Morgan County. She says families are moving into the area and commuting to work. The increase in students is a positive, but it has created an imbalance.

"We have plenty of room at our intermediate school, the junior high school, and high school," Jones said. "It's our elementary schools that I look at the capacity levels there."

Elementary schools are growing the fastest and need more teachers. Adrienne Alexander has two kids in the school system, one of them is still in elementary school. She hopes the increase doesn't impact the one-on-one time her children get with teachers.

"They have learning disabilities," Alexander said. "Since moving to Hartselle, they have thrived, they have gotten the extra help that they needed."

Jones says help is on the way as Tuesday night, the school board is expected to approve hiring two more teachers for the district’s elementary schools. This will keep the current student-teacher ratio, 18 students in grades K-2, 20-24 students in grades 3-4. With the addition of the two new elementary school teachers, there are a total of 14 new teachers across the city's school. Alexander has always been confident in the school district.

"Anytime that there's been a challenge, anytime that there has been a struggle, they have always risen up and met that and exceeded expectations," Alexander said.

This time is no different. Jones wants parents to know she wants to keep these schools run the same exact way.

"That's going to be one of my goals is to not change," Jones said. "We may have a few pains along the way but our goal is to continue with what we have."

Madison and Huntsville City Schools both have seen consistent growth themselves and have expanded schools or built new ones to make more room. Jones tells WAAY31 if the growth continues, she is open to the idea of building a new elementary school. Hartselle City Schools have completed all enrollments thus far, but say they could still see some more tomorrow.

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