Biloxi Public Schools began this school year with 65 more students than Day 1 of last year, and new Superintendent Arthur McMillan says he expects enrollment to increase dramatically Wednesday, when late registrants will be attending their first day of school.
School leaders have closely watched enrollment in Biloxi, where post-Katrina enrollment has remained about 20 percent down district-wide and as much as 45 percent down in east Biloxi. The numbers, along with reductions in state and federal funding, have led to consolidation of schools and reductions in personnel.
"We started the year off with an increase, and that's a good trend," McMillan said. "Now, we're going to watch to see how things pan out over the next few days."
Overall enrollment from the last day of school last year to Day 1 of this school year is down, but McMillan said a fairer gauge is comparing Day 1 of this school year to Day 1 of last year, and comparing trends over the first few days of school.
"The real story is going to be over the next several days," McMillan said. "Historically, enrollment climbs after the first several days of school. Frankly, I'm encouraged by what I've seen so far. I also want to congratulate the parents and staff for doing such a good job at registration. It was like a well-oiled machine. Everybody understood what they were supposed to do, and everyone followed the direction of the staff. Parents understood the routine."
To see enrollment figures from pre-Katrina to Aug. 4, Day 1 of this school year, click here.
Updated handbooks now online
Student handbooks for Biloxi Junior High School, Biloxi High School, Biloxi elementary schools and Lopez school are now on the Publications page of the school district web site.
The handbooks, which are approved by the Biloxi school board, outline the procedures, policies, and practices governing the operation of Biloxi public schools and the behavior of students. Each handbook is a searchable PDF.
Parents and students are expected to familiarize themselves with the handbook for their particular school.
To go to the Publications page of the district web site, click here.
News and notes
Open house: Biloxi High School hosts a PTO open house this evening, beginning at 6.
Get your seats: Tickets remain on sale for Biloxi High School football games. For more information and to see a schedule, click here. Meantime, don't forget to buy your seats for the Big Red Athletic Foundation dinner coming up on Thursday, Aug. 18. For details and sponsorship opportunities, click here.