Enrollment, School Staff Continues to Grow at IRSD - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Enrollment, School Staff Continues to Grow at IRSD

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SELBYVILLE, Del. - 276, 288, and 476. 

Those were the enrollment increases for the Indian River School District, heading into the last three years. And with the 2015-2016 school year weeks away, district officials are expecting a similar increase this year. 

As of Thursday morning, the district had an enrollment of 10,087 students, an increase of 245 from 2014-2015. Asst. Supt. Mark Steele predicts that the number will rise to as high as 10,200 by the Sept. 30 deadline, when they give their count to the Department of Education.

"We're maintaining," Steele said. "We're using just about any nook and cranny in the building. It makes you look outside the box." 

The 245-student increase would generate an additional 16 staff members for the district. That would increase the staff count to 741 for the current school year. In the 2014-2015 school year, that number was at 725. 

The increases are part of a larger trend at the district. In the five years since the 2011-2012 school year, the district has seen an increase of approximately 14 percent, jumping from 8,871 students to the current levels of 10,087. That increase, generated approximately 120 additional staff members. 

District employees are funded 70 percent by the state, and 30 percent by the local taxpayers. Steele said these staff increases shouldn't mean higher school taxes because they correlate directly with the number of students. 

Steele said the majority of the growth has been in the northern parts of the district, including Millsboro and Georgetown. Large portions of the growth has been in the elementary schools, which Steele said is indicative of a growing issue. 

"We're looking at our initial growth," he said. "And I'm yet to see a bubble of when it's going to slow down or stop."

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