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September 15, 2013

New approaches at Clarksville Community Schools

Superintendent Kim Knott works on bringing a new school concept to the district with the hopes of increasing enrollment

(Continued)

CLARKSVILLE — How’s enrollment looking and what are you doing to bring in students?

We are down approximately 13 students from last year. We had a very small fifth grade class coming over this year but a very large eighth grade class going to the high school. We’re actually down some teachers at the middle school, but we’re not down teachers overall in the corporation because we had kids go to other grade levels in other buildings.

We have been, over the last 10 years, our enrollment has been declining. Now it’s not been declining as rapidly probably the last three years as it was five years prior to that. We’ve leveled off just a little bit in our decline.

We have not, as I’ve shared in the past, done any kind of formal marketing campaign. I believe and I contend that kids are coming because of word of mouth. That could be either from our own employees, other kids, from other parents, that could be from a variety of sources.

At some point, we will probably embark on some form of marketing campaign. Nikolette [Langdon, information media specialist] is in the process of contacting a couple of advertising agencies that have specific work with non-profit organizations. Clearly, with New Tech coming and our intent to expand that program all the way to the elementary, that will be something different for parents to look at. We have those kinds of plans in the next five years.

We have lots of successes we want to get out there. We’ve had the highest graduation rate of any corporation [in this area] for the last four years. Our high school has been an A school for two years in a row, we expect the rating barring any significant changes this year, to again be very high.

There are a lot of unbelievable things at our elementary with reading improvement and the percentage of kids reading at grade level according to IREAD. We’re at that 90 percent benchmark, which is critical for us and parents.

The one thing I can say is that when you walk into that elementary, or any of our buildings for that matter, you forget how the demographics have changed in Clarksville. It is not apparent, and I think that’s a huge testament to what our teachers and our principals are doing every day.

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