Barnstable Schools See Major Enrollment Increase

hyannis westBARNSTABLE – The Barnstable School District is seeing an increase in enrollment of almost 300 students in the lower grades this fall, according to preliminary reports.

An additional 289 students have have enrolled in the town’s elementary schools this fall.

Barnstable Schools Superintendent Mary Czajkowski said these numbers are preliminary and changes can happen before the start of schools. “I caution because the summer time is a time of transition whereby we have exits as well as entries in our schools. We really want to wait. We submit our October 1 figures to the state Department of Education.

The town closed three schools in 2009 but this year they are spending $2 million to build classrooms to handle the overflow.

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Czajkowski said leases and expense prevent the former former schools from being used again.

“We did look at what it would cost to open Marstons Mills [Elementary] and it would cost over $3 million because it’s been closed for so long now and we would have to bring it up to code and that would take time as well,” she said.

All the towns five elementary schools are expecting large increases.

Compared to last year, Centerville Elementary School is going from 390 students to 456 students; West Barnstable is going from 279 to 318; Hyannis West is going from 342 to 400; West Villages is going from 458 to 556; and the charter school, in the building that was formerly Hyannis East, is going from 294 to 322.

Looking just at one school, Czajkowski pointed out that West Villages has an almost 100 student increase.

But Czajkowski said the district’s total number of students is down slightly due to decreases in students in the middle school, junior high and high school grades.

More on this story tomorrow.