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I have heard a rumor that the school system has only grown by a handfull of students in the last 5 years. Most people are under the impression that Albemarle growth is swamping the public school system. Can you tell us the increase in the number of students in Albemarle public schools in the last 5 years?

That is no rumor. In fact I routinely mention the actual numbers to the public in meetings and on this blog. Check out my October update on the 5-year enrollment projections. There you will see we have grown by 193 students over the last 5 years [2006-07=12,445; 2002-03=12,252]. In the 2007-08 budget, we are projecting to have an added 22 students next year [budget page F-8].

One of the things I am trying to educate the public about with the posting of building permit data is to show where students are likely to be in the future. That doesn't mean they will necessarily be added students, as it can also be existing students moving to growth areas like Crozet. That is in fact what we are seeing with the enrollment spikes at Stony Point Elementary (Pantops growth) and Crozet Elementary (Crozet growth area). Dave, since you are head of the Charlottesville Area Association of Realtors (CAAR), I am sure you understand that issue quite well! Thanks for the question.

Brian Wheeler

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