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Student count up by 300 in Manteca USD
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For the second straight year, Manteca Unified experienced a spike in enrollment after one week of school.

“We have nearly 300 more students than projected,” Assistant Superintendent Don Halseth said at Tuesday’s school board meeting.

He used figures based on the adopted budget for the 2010-11 school year.

A year ago, the district opened with 189 more students than anticipated.

Halseth noted that Manteca Unified has been closely monitoring the growth pattern. Neil Hafley School experienced a large increase of students, with growth also taking place in the Lathrop area west of Interstate 5.
“I think we’re seeing a shifting in enrollment,” he said.

In terms of numbers, the district is at 23,333 students. Halseth indicated that the increased enrollment is not to be confused with ADA – or average daily attendance – which is the state formula used for funding public education.

At this point, the district has yet to bring back those teachers recently pink slipped due to the budget shortfall.

“Our staffing is based on last year’s enrollment figures,” said Halseth.

The overflow of students at some of the school sites has been remedied via busing.
The district has a cap for the number of students per grade level.

The capacity for the number of students in kindergarten is 33 per classroom; 32 is the limit for the first- through third- grade classes; and 34 is the magic number for fourth- through 12th- grade classes.

In order to balance the classrooms, some students – in particular, the last ones to register at the home site – are shuttled to another nearby school site.

“Certain schools tend to go together,” said Halseth, mentioning the proximity of Lincoln and Shasta, or New Haven and Joshua Cowell, as examples.

He added that those students currently bused to a nearby site can stay closer to home come next year.

Overall, the district is thrilled with the growth.

“We did a good job of guessing (the number of students based on the budget),” Halseth said. “We had to move five teachers to other schools.

“We’ve done a lot of shifting around in such a short period of time.”