School Districts Work to Address Issues Brought on by Surge of New Students 9/1/13
CBS 7 News Reporter
September 1, 2013
Teachers and students have made it through their first week of school. One thing the first week revealed is just how packed both Midland ISD and Ector County ISD schools are.
Both districts saw a surge of new students this week ECISD alone now has 30,000 students; a first for the district. They've been trying to figure out where to put all the new students.
Because the growth came so quickly many are wondering if the districts are ready.
Ss students get back into the routine of going to class and doing homework, administrators at MISD and ECISD have some homework of their own to do, find a solution to growing enrollment.
"There isn't any other option quite honestly. The kids are here and we're open for business," Mike Adkins ECISD spokesperson said. "It's exciting and it's a little bit frightening. It's exciting to be part of a community that is growing like this."
As of Friday ECISD gained more than 1,100 students, MISD had 500 more.
The steady growth after just one week of school really shows when you look at MISD enrollment numbers. From Thursday to the end of the day Friday, MISD had gained 32 students in just 24 hours.
Adkins says they have so many extra students, the teacher to student ratio has taken a back seat for now.
"This year it's not going to be possible in a lot of places. We just have too many kids. We don't have anymore classrooms to expand into," Adkins said.
He adds extra classrooms isn't their only worry, finding teachers to put into those classes is another. They're looking at any and all options to balance the number of students inside classes.
"We're recruiting subs, we're looking for long term subs and we'll definitely look at hiring more classroom aids," Adkins said.
No matter the year, Adkins says the first week of school is always the busiest.
As they head into next week, they'll be able assess the situation better.
"We'll be able to really get a better grip on who is really maxed out, who’s stressed the most and where we need to supply the most help," he said.
There's no looking back now, Adkins says adjusting is the only option.
A long-term solution for both Midland and Ector County ISD's is part of the bond elections passed by both districts.
ECISD passed a $129 million bond last year, that includes building three new elementary campuses.
MISD passed a $163 million dollar bond last year as well, it also includes building three new elementary campuses.
Both districts say the new schools will accommodate the added growth.