MOULTRIE — Based on a student full time equivalent (FTE) count on March 2, the Colquitt County district is growing.

The district has picked up 216 FTEs since last March. That increase translates to more state money for the schools.

The greatest increases are seen in kindergarten and grades one through three. Another significant change is the decrease of FTE in early intervention program classes — falling overall by about a third — while the FTE count in gifted classes has increased by 64 percent. Part of this huge increase in gifted classes is due to a change in the method of assessing FTE for that program, school officials said, and part is due to more students entering the gifted program.

At Doerun Elementary, the smallest school in the district, there was an FTE increase of 23 percent, partly because of passive redistricting taking in an area once drawn into the Okapilco district and partly because of population growth. Because of that redistricting, Okapilco Elementary, which is in a high growth area of the county, has leveled off this year.

Odom Elementary is slowing its decline, said Superintendent Leonard McCoy. Funston Elementary, also, has been in a period of decline. Its population is becoming increasingly more Hispanic, he said. R.B. Wright Elementary also has fallen off slightly in FTE.

Cox Elementary is the most unpredictable school in the district, McCoy said. This year, its FTE has increased. Hamilton Elementary has risen steadily in FTE, and this year is no exception.

Sunset Elementary continues to boom. This year, the school’s growth spurt can be attributed to a sizable bump to the kindergarten class and the lower grades. That area of the county, with a number of subdivisions under development, is expected to explode, and the system’s biggest elementary school will continue to get even bigger.

Norman Park Elementary continues to increase. Over the past five years, the school has grown more than 30 percent. Of all the 13 schools, Norman Park’s patterns of growth give the superintendent greatest cause for concern.

Stringfellow Elementary has enjoyed steady growth for the past three years, he said.

C.A. Gray Middle School is increasing as Willie J. Williams Middle School is falling off in FTE. And at Colquitt County High School, enrollment has increased at least two years in a row, McCoy said.

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