Changes in store for Chelsea, Mt. Laurel elementary schools
Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 21, 2005
Enrollment in Shelby County Schools is rising more quickly than expected. To make room, when Chelsea Park Elementary School opens its doors in 2006, School Superintendent Evan Major says Chelsea Elementary will become Chelsea Intermediate School.
Major said that means fourth and fifth graders from Chelsea Elementary will remain in the elementary school building, which will become an intermediate school.
The following year, Mt. Laurel will be reduced to kindergarten through third grades, and fourth and fifth graders from there will attend Chelsea Intermediate as well.
&uot;That’s the plan,&uot; Major said.
He made the announcement during a work session of the Shelby County Board of Education held at the Shelby County Instructional Services Center in Alabaster on Monday.
&uot;It’s all about growth,&uot; Major said.
While he said growth was expected, it’s been &uot;more rapid than anticipated&uot; and &uot;Mt. Laurel is completely full.&uot;
Major also said there are still 15 to 18 portable classrooms at Chelsea Elementary School.
He said the move to create an intermediate school in Chelsea would make some in Mt. Laurel not as happy as they would have hoped, but the school system has &uot;got to provide the space.&uot;
Major said the move would happen when the School Board approves a principal for Chelsea Intermediate School.
But he left no doubt.
&uot;It is going to happen. It will be implemented as we complete the new building,&uot; Major said.
Based on numbers provided to School Board members, as of last Friday, Sept. 16, enrollment at Chelsea Elementary was 861 students while enrollment at Mt. Laurel Elementary was 562 for a total between the two schools in kindergarten through fifth grades of 1,423.
It is anticipated that by June of 2007 with 5 percent growth, there will be 610 students in Chelsea Elementary kindergarten through third grade, 477 students in Mt. Laurel kindergarten through third grade and 464 students in Chelsea Intermediate fourth and fifth grades for a total of 1,551 students.
By July 2008 with 5 percent growth, there will be 648 students in Chelsea Elementary kindergarten through third grade, 532 in Mt. Laurel kindergarten through third grade and 510 in Chelsea Intermediate fourth and fifth grades, for a total of 1,691 students.
As recently as May 25 of this year, there were 1,237 students in the two schools.
That means at 5 percent growth an increase of 454 students in the two schools by 2008. And Major called the numbers &uot;conservative.&uot;
Major told school board members, &uot;Let’s get to work on a plan and work the plan.&uot;
He said some renovation would be ultimately required at Chelsea Elementary to convert it into an intermediate school.
Major said, &uot;As we continue to grow, the problems will grow with us.&uot;