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School system nears 150,000 students

LAWRENCEVILLE - The first official enrollment count shows 147,048 students in Gwinnett County Public Schools, 3 percent below initial projections for the state's largest school system.

But school leaders say enrollment typically increases during the first weeks of classes.

Last year the system picked up 6,161 students - about 1,300 because of Hurricane Katrina relocations - by the time another tally was taken in early September.

Enrollment has grown by at least 4,440 students after the first count in each of the last three years.

"Historically, enrollment continues to climb during the year, with the post-Labor Day count more accurately reflecting school enrollment," Gwinnett Public schools spokeswoman Sloan Roach said in an e-mail.

"Typically, student enrollment peaks during the fourth or fifth school month," Roach said.

By the post-Labor day count, student enrollment is usually within 1 percent of the forecast.

Additional counts are scheduled Monday, Aug. 28 and Sept. 5.

The school system projects 151,903 students, or about 7,000 more, will be enrolled this year. Enrollment could top 174,000 students when classes begin in 2010-2011.