Wake schools expect record crop of kindergartners
Posted August 7, 2013
Raleigh, N.C. — A record 12,200 kindergartners are expected to begin romping through Wake County elementary schools in three weeks, school district officials said Wednesday.
The bulk of the new students will start class on Aug. 26, but Brier Creek Elementary School Principal Sandy Chambers said she has already seen an increase in kindergarten enrollment at her year-round school, where 2013-14 classes started last month.
"Kids are coming every day from all over – not just other parts of Raleigh but other states, other counties," Chambers said. "We're getting kids. They're coming in."
She said she expects Brier Creek Elementary will end up with at least 100 more kindergartners this year than last year.
"We've actually had to create another kindergarten class," she said.
Wake County Public School System officials expect the growth to continue, projecting 20,000 additional students in the district by 2018.
To keep up with the growth, district and county leaders hope voters will approve an $810 million school construction bond in October. The bond will pay for building 16 schools, including 11 elementary schools, and renovate six existing schools.
Some parents said Wednesday that they don't necessarily consider school growth a bad thing.
Johnny Hanley and his family recently moved to Wake County from Florida, and he said they're excited for their daughter Lyla to begin kindergarten.
"One of the reasons we moved here from south Florida was for the school system. So, certainly we hope the quality stays high," Hanley said.
Joni Fowler likewise is excited for her daughter, Jordyn, to start kindergarten. She said record kindergarten enrollment doesn't surprise her, given Wake County's population boom.
"With her going to kindergarten, I just hope she's not in a classroom with too many kids," Fowler said.