District Enrollment Keeps Marching Higher as School Year Begins

Photo: More students have entered Belmont schools in the past three months.

The news on student enrollment levels in Belmont’s six public schools from School Superintendent John Phelan continues along a familiar theme of the past five years: more are still coming.

At the Sept. 8 School Committee meeting, Phelan reported that between June 1 to Sept. 3, 72 net additional students in Kindergarten through 12th grade entered the system which now serves a total enrollment of 4,362.

Since 2009, approximately 400 additional students have been added to the district’s rolls. 

Phelan said he is “very optimistic” of the total figure as it was close to actual number of children counted on the first day of school, Wednesday, Sept. 2, which saw an attendance rate of 97.5 percent.

“Everyone came and were welcomed to class,” said Phelan.

Notable in the new enrollment data is the jump in the number of students at the Chenery Middle School which crossed the 1,300 student mark with 1,320 pupils, an increase of 38 students in the past 90 days.

But Phelan said he’s confident that total and middle school numbers will rise as every day “two or three more students” were being enrolled in the first week of school opening.

To keep up with the rising numbers, Belmont High has converted existing modular space behind the school into classrooms, the only school that will be using non-permanent structures this year. In June, Phelan said it looked increasingly possible that added physical space will be required in the 2016-17 school year to accommodate the new students. 

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