Student enrollment reaches milestone, tops 8,000

September 27, 2001

CALEXICO — Enrollment in the Calexico Unified School District topped the 8,000 mark for the first time in the district's history, district Superintendent Roberto Moreno announced Wednesday.

In a press release, Moreno verified enrollment as of Monday was 8,192 students, up almost 300 students from last year's peak of slightly more than 7,900.

"The growth this year is unprecedented," Moreno said.

"We have a record growth of 380 students. In the past, the most we had ever grown in a single year was 265 students," he said.

When asked if the district had enough teachers to handle the additional students, Moreno replied, "We were and are in good shape at the elementary level. We have not had to hire any additional teachers since school began and we have sufficient classrooms. The problem we did have was in not being able to serve everyone at their neighborhood school.


"At the junior high and high school level, the biggest problem was at William Moreno Junior High School. We ordered six additional classrooms and they did not arrive until this week. The teachers have had to share classrooms and computer labs," Moreno said.

"We have not had to add any teachers since the beginning of school in grades seven through 12 but we have extended some contracts," Moreno said.

Board of Trustees President Reynaldo Ayala said, "The future is what has the board worrying and working overtime. For five years Calexico has been the fastest-growing district in Imperial County. We have added 150 to 200 students per year.

"Calexico's housing industry is speeding up, though; a record 380 student increase this year and we believe we'll add 300 to 400 students next year," Ayala said.

"Contacts in the housing industry believe that we'll average increases of 300 to 500 students each of the next 10 years. Now we know the local economy can dive tomorrow and growth can slow down or stop. But we have to plan and act as if fast growth is true. That means beginning to plan for a second high school, a third junior high and at least three elementary schools," Ayala said.

"That's not easy to do when the state of California has no money to help us build schools and when the state regulations make it such a slow process. That's our challenge," Ayala said.

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