Columbia School Enrollment
Lee Elementary School principal, Theresa VanDover, says the school is tested everywhere: from the playground to the lunchroom, and in some cases back outside to mobile classrooms.
"We're talking about 22 to 25 more students in three of the mobile classrooms," said Principal VanDover.
While more students means overcrowding, this year's increase isn't setting records.
"There have been past years where our enrollment increased by four to five hundred kids for a couple years in a row," said Jack Jensen, Columbia's Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Education.
While not as dramatic as that, this year's 217 new students is equal to a small elementary school. At Lee, there are 25 new students.
"It does have an impact on everything that we do. It's 25 more students across our special areas: art, music, P.E," said Principal VanDover.
Principal VanDover hopes news of the increase will stir public interest and support, possibly in the form of a bond issue to raise more money. There will be a public meeting September 19 to discuss the district's strained resources.
Of the 217 new students this year, about 50 moved to the district because of Hurricane Katrina.
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