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Columbia high school enrollment swells with addition of freshmen

Tuesday, August 20, 2013 | 6:00 p.m. CDT; updated 10:04 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, August 20, 2013
From left, Wendy Reams, 12, Lindsey Smith, 11, and Deasha Kelton look out the windows of a school bus in front of Jefferson Middle School on Tuesday. It was the first full day of fall classes for Columbia Public Schools. It also was Jefferson's first day as a middle school.

COLUMBIA — Columbia has more high school students than ever.

The recently redrawn district boundary lines and the addition of freshmen to Hickman, Rock Bridge and Muriel Williams Battle high schools shifted enrollment significantly from feeder middle schools — Gentry, Jefferson, Lange, Oakland, Smithton and West — to their respective high schools.

Douglass High School, an alternative high school that students apply to, took freshmen before this year.

Last year, the district's middle and junior high schools had 5,152 students, compared to 3,835 students at Hickman, Rock Bridge and Douglass, according to a district news release. This year, that has switched, with 5,113 high school students and 3,918 middle school students.

Enrollment at the main high schools breaks down this way:

  • Battle (through 11th grade only this year): 1,091
  • Hickman: 1,855
  • Rock Bridge: 2,026

Elementary schools were not affected by the new boundaries, but total kindergarten through fifth grade enrollment increased by 204 students, from 8,901 to 9,105, the release said.

On Tuesday, the first full day of fall classes for the public schools, overall enrollment was 18,136, up by 248 over last year. District administrators expect more students to enroll over the next few days.

The district will report official enrollment numbers on the last Wednesday of September in compliance with state requirements.

Supervising editor is Elizabeth Brixey.


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