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Manteca Unified student numbers growing again
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Enrollment in Manteca Unified is up in some areas and down in others.

That’s according to Don Halseth, the assistant superintendent filling for Superintendent Jason Messer at last week’s school board meeting.

Messer was out with an illness.

“The good news is that we’re growing,” Halseth said.

Great Valley and Mossdale schools both had 100 students more than expected during those opening weeks. August Knodt and Walter Woodward schools also experienced an increase, respectively, with 80 and 46 more students.

Meanwhile, Lincoln was down 100 while New Haven had 60 fewer students than planned.

Incidentally, Manteca Unified’s attendance figures for the 2009-10 school year were projected at 22,702, according to the financial plan adopted by the board last June.

In order to fill in the needs, the district, Halseth said, had to juggle 11 teachers including seven who were brought back after receiving their pink slips as part of the recent budget shortfall.

Still, Manteca Unified kicked off the new school year with crowded classrooms caused by the elimination of class-size reduction. The 20-to-1 students to teacher ratio was also part of the recent cuts along with that of home-to-school bus transportation.

“The first two weeks of schools has been interesting and difficult,” Halseth said.

He added: “We’re continuing to make changes every day.”