Local school enrollment expected to grow

Published 11:50 am Saturday, July 3, 2010

Western Tidewater’s public school divisions are expected to see student populations grow over the next five years, according a report from Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at the University of Virginia.

The center studies demographic information and releases annual enrollment projections for Virginia’s 132 school divisions.

Isle of Wight County Schools is expected to be the second-fastest growing school district in the Hampton Roads region over the next five years, in terms of percentage. The county’s schools are expected to enroll 267 more students by 2015, an increase of nearly 5 percent.

“That’s pretty average,” said School Board Chairman David Goodrich. “The increase is about what we’ve been experiencing.”

At this point, Goodrich said, the projected growth rate wouldn’t require the division to take any special steps to accommodate more students.

Over the next five years, Southampton County schools are expected to grow by 94 students, an increase of more than 3 percent. Franklin schools are expected to serve 10 more students, an increase of less than 1 percent.

The only Hampton Roads-area school district expected to have a higher percentage of growth than Isle of Wight is Williamsburg/James City County. That district is expected to see enrollment grow nearly 11 percent between 2010 and 2015.

Statewide student enrollment is expected to grow more than 4 percent to 1.26 million by 2015.