More students, more mobile units

  • Tuesday, August 26, 2014

This school year most Dorchester District Two schools are welcoming more students -- and as a result four schools are welcoming a bundle of mobile classrooms, too.

DD2’s student population has increased by 722 students from last year, with this year’s student count coming to 25,124 as of Aug. 25.

During DD2’s board meeting Monday, Superintendent Joe Pye said despite crowded conditions DD2 is still “in really good shape.”

“We’ve grown 363 students in the elementary grades,” he said. “Middle schools have the slowest growth at 77, and the high schoolers had 282. Elementary is always the highest number.”

Most schools in the district increased in student population in general; Fort Dorchester High had the biggest population increase, going up by 168 students. Rollings Middle School of the Arts was the only school whose student count remained the same at 666 – the most students the school has ever had, Pye said.

Fort Dorchester Elementary, Flowertown Elementary, Oakbrook Elementary, Alston Middle School and Givhans Alternative Program all decreased in student population. Alston decreased the most, going from 913 students last year to 853 students this year – down by 60 students.

Summerville High has the largest high school student population with 2,892 students. Gregg Middle is the most populated middle school with 1,135 students. Knightsville Elementary is the most populated elementary school with 1,424 students.

Since becoming superintendent in 1999, Pye said, the district has grown by 10,000 students.

“We have really grown,” he said. “We’re packed – 25,000 packed into 22 sites.”

The district has 127 mobile units providing 186 classrooms. Four more additional classrooms are being added at William Reeves Elementary, which already has 12 mobile classrooms, and another four classrooms are being added at Dubose Middle, which already had 10.

Ashley Ridge and Summerville High Schools have not had any mobile classrooms but each school is receiving two additional classrooms.

Oakbrook and Knightsville Elementary Schools still appear to have the most recorded mobile classrooms in the district, with 26 and 25 respectively – though Director of Business Services Allyson Duke said some Oakbrook Elementary mobile units might have been moved to Oakbrook Middle and ergo Knightsville could have the most mobile classrooms in the district.

Duke said the three new elementary schools being built should alleviate student growth at Reeves, Knightsville and Beech Hill Elementary. They are expected to open in 2015.

“Those three will go down because of that – thank goodness,” she said. “What’s been said is we have more kids at Knightsville housed in the mobile units than we do in the building. But then, it’s a smaller school (building) than Oakbrook Elementary.”

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