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Enrollment numbers fluctuate at area colleges, public schools
Public schools down 200 students
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Despite a weakened economy, enrollment is up at Oxford College this year, while the number of students at Georgia Perimeter College’s Newton campus has declined this year, as has the number of students attending public school in Newton County since this time last year.

According to Beverly James, assistant director for media relations for Perimeter, overall enrollment is up 1 percent from last year, with 24,238 students this year at all Perimeter campuses, versus 24,208 in September 2009. However, enrollment declined 3.8 percent from last year at the Newton campus, to 2,668 students.

At Oxford College, enrollment is 910 this year, up from 756 in 2009, according to Director of Communications Cathy Wooten.

There are 19,430 students in Newton County public schools this year, down from 19,662 this time last year. There have been some changes in the school system since September 2009 that attributed to major changes in populations at individual schools, including the addition of a grade at Fairview Theme School, high school rezoning and the dissolution of Clements Theme School, which was changed back to a regular middle school for the 2010-2011 school year.

Of the 14 elementary schools, half saw a decrease in student attendance, with enrollment up at Fairview Theme School, Live Oak, Mansfield, Middle Ridge, Porterdale, Rocky Plains and South Salem. The largest jump in student enrollment was at Fairview, which added a grade this year and increased by 86 students. The biggest decrease was at West Newton, which shows enrollment down by 65 students.

Only two of the five middle schools report more students this year. Clements, which reverted to a regular middle school, saw its enrollment jump by 255 students and Cousins saw an increase of 143 students this year. Indian Creek, Liberty and Veterans Memorial saw drastic decreases in enrollment (158, 208 and 234), but the middle schools were rezoned to even out the student population.

Enrollment was down at both Newton and Eastside High schools, and up at Alcovy High. Newton lost 261 students and there are 27 less at Eastside while Alcovy gained 273 students. As with the middle schools, the high schools were rezoned this year to even out the student population in the county.

There was also a decrease of students at Sharp Learning Center (down 21 students) and Challenge Charter Academy (down 15 students).