High Enrollment Leads to Redistricting in Barnstable

hyannis westBARNSTABLE – A major increase in enrollment in Barnstable’s public elementary schools this fall will lead to redistricting, according to Barnstable Superintendent of Schools Mary Czajkowski.

The town is also spending $2 million to build new classroom space to help accommodate almost 300 additional students in the elementary grades this year.

That number of additional students is based on summer figures and Czajkowski said it could change.

“I caution because the summer time is a time of transition whereby we have exits as well as entries in our schools. We  have to submit our October 1 enrollment figures to the state Department of Education.”

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But, she said, “Our elementary schools are definitely seeing an increase in numbers,” she said.

Redrawing the boundaries is necessary to deal with crowding in the elementary schools where the use of stages and hallways to accommodate large classes has been necessary in recent years.

“Because of these large numbers that we’re seeing in our elementary schools, we may have to do some shifting of the lines of students and where their home school is,” she said.

The town closed three elementary schools–Osterville Bay, Cotuit and Marstons Mills elementary schools–in 2009 because of declining enrollment.

“The closing of three schools necessitated some additional space but now on top of that this proposed increase in enrollment is compounding the problem. We’re monitoring our enrollment very, very closely,” Czajkowski said.

The new classroom space at Hyannis West is expected to be completed in February, making available six classrooms at Centerville Elementary where the early learning program has been located.

“I’m really grateful that the town council and the school committee supported constructing a new early learning center which is going to free up space at Centerville Elementary School to address some of this enrollment,” the superintendent said.

For Part I of the series, which appeared yesterday, click herePart III of this series on Barnstable Public Schools will appear tomorrow.