Enrollment up to 2,943
with "virtual academy"
By Nancy Lindsey
Enrollment in Patrick County public schools increased by 126 students from the first day of the 2014-2015 session to the 10th.
Total enrollment for the first day, Aug. 13, was 2,417. The number increased to 2,506 on the fifth day, Aug. 20, and to 2,543 by the 10th day, Aug. 26.
While the enrollment figures have increased--as they typically do during the first month of school--the 10th day total might be considered bad news for the school system, which based the 2014-2015 school budget on an average daily enrollment (ADM) of 2,570 students.
However, the enrollment figures are bolstered by the "virtual academy," the on-line school administered by K-12 Inc. and coordinated by the Patrick County school system.
Andrea Cassell, instructional coordinator, said the number of on-line students is currently more than 400, making a total of at least 2,943 students who are counted as enrolled in Patrick County public schools.
Cassell said the public school system receives per-pupil state funding based on the total number of students who are considered enrolled, even though none of the students who receive on-line instruction is actually a student in Patrick County.
The virtual academy students are located throughout Virginia, and there are some in Carroll, Floyd and Franklin Counties, Cassell said.
Cassell and the instructional staff do academic reviews of the students who apply for on-line instruction, looking at grades, test scores and other factors, and decide which students to accept in the program, she said.
The enrollment figures released by the school system for Tuesday, Aug. 26 (the 10th day) show the following breakdown by schools: Blue Ridge Elementary School, 289; Hardin Reynolds Memorial School, 231; Meadows of Dan Elementary School, 126; Patrick Springs Primary School, 264; Stuart Elementary School, 452; Woolwine Elementary School, 202; and Patrick County High School, 1,009.
The numbers by grade are: kindergarten, 156; first grade, 175; second grade, 172; third grade, 185; fourth grade, 178; fifth grade, 180; sixth grade, 194; seventh grade, 149; eighth grade, 199; ninth grade, 207; tenth grade, 220; eleventh grade, 194; and twelfth grade, 189.
Also counted are 45 special education students: five at HRMS, 21 at PSPS, and 19 at SES.
There are 73 pre-kindergarten students enrolled: nine at BRES, 13 at MODE, 16 at PSPS, 18 at SES, and 17 at WES.
The total number of students also includes those enrolled in the Head Start program administered by STEP Inc.: 13 at BRES and 14 at SES.