Enrollment in the Alpine School District increased again this year, with more than 800 additional students in classrooms.
The 2.2 percent increase is a continuation of the district's long-term rise in enrollment. It has jumped to more than seven times the number of students enrolled when the district was formed in 1915, said Barbara Grover, Alpine enrollment statistician.Superintendent Steven Baugh said administrators have learned to cope with rising enrollment in innovative ways.
"The rise in enrollment is a challenge we have dealt with since the early days of the district. For years we simply built more schools to accommodate the influx of students," he said. "But in recent times we've become more efficient in the use of our resources. During the past three years, for instance, we've gone to either year-round or extended-day programs at 14 of our 31 elementary facilities. This alone has created space for hundreds of students and saved the district millions of dollars in new school construction."
The district's enrollment records show that there actually are fewer elementary students this year than in 1987, and officials expect enrollment to level out during the next five years or so. There are 22,095 elementary students attending; the 1987 level was 22,150.
The enrollment increase took place at the junior high and high school levels. Junior high attendance rose from 7,799 last year to 8,426 in 1988. In Alpine high schools, the figure rose from 6,530 to 6,778. The remaining student population in the district is special student groups such as handicapped and homebound youngsters.