Five of Decatur’s eight K-12 schools start the year over capacity

In June the school system closed on a six-acre tract at the corner of Talley Street and South Columbia Drive. Though it hasn’t been determined what will get built there, new enrollment numbers show the need for another 4/5 Academy, an elementary or some combination of both.

The preliminary enrollment numbers, compiled after the first two weeks of school, show the 4/5 Academy at Fifth Avenue is more than 200 over capacity. Meantime Winnona Park Elementary, roughly a half mile from the Talley site, is 137 over.

In truth, however, five of the eight K-12 schools are over capacity while the other three are close to capacity.

Here’s the breakdown, with the first number the “CSD capacity,” compiled by Superintendent David Dude and based on counting all spaces that be used for classrooms including science/computer labs, performance spaces, gyms and modular units. The second number is current enrollment, though official enrollment won’t be submitted to the state’s Department of Education until October:

Clairemont Elementary- 334, 320; Glennwood Elementary-293, 285; Westchester Elementary-272, 290; Oakhurst Elementary-418, 458; Winnona Park Elementary-293, 430; 4/5 Academy-661, 880; Renfroe Middle-1,112, 1,120; Decatur High-1,254, 1,248.

Total current enrollment is 5,041, a roughly seven percent increase over last year’s final official enrollment submitted in March.