Growth seen in area school enrollments

The numbers in local districts are a bit ahead of last year.

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Enrollment figures for the 2011-12 school year show some signs of growth in area districts.

Districts throughout the state compiled official enrollment figures on Sept. 8. Those figures will go to the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. Enrollment is used by the state to determine funding.

Walla Walla Public Schools reported having 5,996.04 full-time equivalent, or FTE students enrolled this year. The school is serving 6,234 students so far based on head count. The FTE number is 86 above what the district budgeted for this summer.

The Walla Walla district had about 6,039 FTE students enrolled near the end of the last school year. District spokesman Mark Higgins said last year's ending numbers show slightly higher FTE's because figures for the district's Running Start program at Walla Walla Community College aren't available yet. Running Start students, who take college courses while also completing high school, start classes Sept. 19.

College Place Public Schools had an overall student head count of 793, with 734.42 FTEs reported. Superintendent Tim Payne said the FTE figures for the same time last year were 718.18. Payne said the growth is a result of a small eighth-grade class leaving the district last year, and a larger first-grade class entering this year. College Place is about 12.42 FTE students above budget.

In Burbank, the Columbia School District had a head count of 874, with 813.9 FTEs. This year's full-time equivalent numbers are 21.9 above last year's count of 792.

The district is 38.9 FTE students above its budget projection of 775. District Business Manager Debbie Williams said the district hired a fifth-grade teacher, and is looking to hire a part-time sixth-grade teacher to meet the growth.

Maria P. Gonzalez can be reached at mariagonzalez@wwub.com or 526-8317.

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