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Numbers on the rise for school system
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The Effingham County School System had nearly 100 more students enrolled for the first week of school this year than last year.

Effingham’s 13 public schools totaled 10,945 students on Friday’s third day of class, 96 more than the 10,849 on last year’s third day, according to figures released by the school district.

“Last year, the same timeframe, we were only up eight students,” said Superintendent Randy Shearouse. “So I would say we’re experiencing significant growth compared to last year.”

Also, the school district has struck a better balance among its elementary school enrollments following the redistricting of Blandford, Rincon and Ebenezer elementary schools. Elementary enrollments range from 529 at Sand Hill to 695 at South Effingham.

“The numbers look good when you look across the board now,” Shearouse said.

Blandford, by far Effingham’s largest elementary school prior to the redistricting, now ranks second with 686 students. BES had an enrollment of 827 on last year’s third day.

Rincon Elementary received most of Blandford’s redistricted students and had the largest growth of any school, from 478 students to 627. Ebenezer Elementary grew slightly, from 577 to 606.

“Now what you have is, every elementary school has room to grow,” Shearouse said. “Hopefully we won’t have to worry about redistricting for a few years.”

One factor in the enrollment growth, according to Shearouse, has been the build-out of the Belmont Glen subdivision off Hodgeville Road on the south end of the county. That has contributed to South Elementary growing by 42 students and South Effingham High by 50.

“A lot of kids are coming from that subdivision,” he said. “It seems to be doing well, and that’s reflecting on the student numbers at those two schools, for sure.”

The numbers will continue to grow, Shearouse said, as 22 new students had appointments scheduled for Monday at central registration to register for school. An additional 21 students have completed registration but, as of Friday, had not yet shown up for school.

Some of those are high school students waiting to receive records from their previous school in order to be given disciplinary clearance, Shearouse said. Other students simply might not have registered until Thursday and decided to wait until Monday to start school, he added.

While the school system’s enrollment increased very little during the first week last year, it took off over the following days. As of day 22, the district had grown by more than 150 students from the previous year, Shearouse said.

By the end of the 2013-14 year, enrollment stood at 10,948 — nearly identical to the 10,945 to begin this year.

“So if that trend continued, then by day 22 (this year), we could be up substantially,” Shearouse said. “There’s no way you can guarantee that’s going to happen, or not happen. But if the trend in the last year meant anything, then we will be up by more than 96.”

School system enrollment
Enrollment figures for the third day of class, by school:
                                              2013-14        2014-15
Blandford Elementary              827              686
Ebenezer Elementary              577               606
Guyton Elementary                  617               641
Marlow Elementary                  664               680
Rincon Elementary                  478               627
Sand Hill Elementary               550               529
South Effingham Elementary   653               695
Springfield Elementary            557               584
Ebenezer Middle                     778               794
Effingham County Middle        821               794
South Effingham Middle          986               974
Effingham County High         1,880             1,824
South Effingham High           1,461             1,511
Total                                  10,849            10,945