Enrollment up in Kingsport, Sullivan County schools

Rick Wagner • Aug 22, 2013 at 7:45 PM

KINGSPORT — Dobyns-Bennett High School has topped 2,000 students and Kingsport City Schools as a whole has surpassed 7,000.

Meanwhile, enrollment of about 10,500 in neighboring Sullivan County schools is above both the projected enrollment and the enrollment at the end of last school year.

Andy True, administrative coordinator and spokesman for KCS, Wednesday afternoon said that for the 11-day reporting period ending Aug. 18, the K-12 city system was at 7,013 students, including 2,003 at D-B, 796 at Sevier Middle School, 794 at Robinson Middle and 3,352 in elementary schools across the system. Cora Cox Academy, the city’s alternative school for the middle and high school grades, is the other city school.

The 7,013 is 50 more than the first day of school in the 2012-13 school year.

In the county system, Director of Schools Jubal Yennie on Tuesday said the K-12 enrollment for the county system as of Monday was 10,543.

“We ended the year at 10,536. We projected 10,520 (for 2013-14) and were at 10,543” at the same point last school year, Yennie said.

He said other enrollment details, including enrollments in the Sullivan North and South high school zones, would emerge during a Sept. 5 BOE work session and the Sept. 9 BOE meeting, where BOE members would receive a detailed report.

Both systems began classes Aug. 5.

Yennie and True said nobody in either system has yet done an analysis of how much or how little annexation in the Sullivan South High School area may have impacted the enrollment numbers in either system.

However, Kingsport being up slightly and the county holding its own seems to indicate a net increase in schools in the combined KCS and Sullivan systems.

The BOE in October is to consider a controversial “scenario 3” proposed by Yennie in February that would merge South and North into one building and turn the other building into a middle school serving both high school zones.

The scenario was a response to slowly dwindling enrollment in the county system and a grades 9-12 enrollment at North of about 550.

That also would result in the closure of Colonial Heights Middle and the middle school portion of Sullivan Gardens K-8. The North High building already houses North Middle.

School officials never indicated which building would remain a high school, but parents and residents of the South and North zones have the widespread assumption the South building would remain a high school, not North.

Another scenario proposed by North residents would leave the North zone alone but close and consolidate schools in the South, Central and East high school zones.

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