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Long Co. school enrollment rising
System reports 23 percent increase since 2004
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At the September Long County Board of Education meeting, it was reported that the number of students enrolled in the school system continues to grow every year.

According to a report from Superintendent Dr. Robert Waters, the school system showed an increase of 76 students from the end of last year. 

Waters said there were 2,624 students enrolled as of March. Current figures show the enrollment to be 2,700. 

In recent years, Waters said, the enrollment continually has increased. There was an increase of more than 23 percent from March 2004, when 2,070 students were enrolled. 

Waters also told the board that the remediation funds for the canceled 5th brigade at Fort Stewart should arrive in four to six weeks. 

The school system is slated to receive almost $3 million from the Office of Economic Adjustment via the Coastal Regional Commission. The money is being awarded for work that was completed on the three schools in preparation for additional troops that were scheduled to be assigned to this area.

Waters also presented a disciplinary report. He said 18 students have received out-of-school suspensions since the school year began. 

Vice Chairwoman Florence Baggs questioned the superintendent about the numbers. Waters said suspensions usually occur more often at the beginning of the school year.

He also said the students’ parents approved the suspensions. The superintendent explained that students are offered a choice between out-of-school suspension and STAR program enrollment. He said 18 students and their parents chose the suspensions over the STAR program enrollment.

 “These numbers are usually higher at the beginning of school year because we have to establish parameters of discipline from them being out of school,” Waters said. “The numbers usually drop after the first few weeks.”

Also at the meeting, Chairman Dempsey Golden voiced concern regarding a fundraiser proposed by the high school cheerleaders.

According to the meeting agenda, the cheerleaders asked the board for permission to have a 50/50 raffle to raise money for their program. 

“I don’t like raffles,” Golden said. “I think it’s just gambling.”

The measure passed 4-1, with Golden being the lone dissenter. All other fundraising requests also were approved.

The BoE also approved a board-training program, which requires each member to have nine hours of training annually. The board must spend three of those hours training together.

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