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School officials look to boost enrollment numbers
The head of the Glynn County Board of Education says he's not satisfied with the Golden Isles Career Academy's latest enrollment figures.

An estimate in July predicted fall enrollment to be around 800 students. It likely won't reach 600 when classes begin this week.

That's still an improvement, but it's not good enough for Jerry Mancil, chair of the school board.

"I am pleased there will be an improvement, but it is still not what we are looking for," Mancil said. "I would like to see 1,000 students out there."

He said whatever is making scheduling for students at the career academy difficult needs to be remedied to justify the school's $1.9 million annual cost.

Either way, teachers like Mike Stalvey, agricultural instructor at the career academy, are preparing classrooms for when school starts its fourth year Thursday.

"I am expecting around 30 students in my classes," Stalvey said.

Ricky Rentz, assistant superintendent for student achievement for the school system, predicted a week ago as many as 798 students could attend classes at the career academy when school starts Thursday.

That will not be the case.

"It looks like that, due to scheduling, numbers are going to be a little lower," Rentz said Friday.

Golden Isles Career Academy Chief Executive Rick Townsend said the newest projection is 573.

"That is still the most we will have had to start the school year," Townsend said. "It is a significant increase over last year."

On the first day of school last year, there were only 285 students, a number Townsend called at the time unacceptable. Working with registrars at both high schools to create a master schedule for all three schools has helped to almost double the numbers, he added.

A final tally will not be available until after the first two weeks of school, Townsend said.

"We are quoting a moving target here," Townsend said.

Students often drop classes and change their schedules during the first two weeks of school, he said.

Townsend said he hopes every student who requests a class at the academy will be able to attend.

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