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GCPS enrollment passes projections

SUWANEE — The nation’s 14th largest school district is growing.

Gwinnett County Public Schools officials are working this week to determine how many new teachers they may need to hire, or existing employees to transfer, to compensate for about 2,000 more students than planners projected for its post-Labor Day enrollment count. The latest figure is 168,696, which is 2,029 more students than the original forecast of 166,667. It’s also 6,547 more students than counted on the first week of school.

The latest count is 3,720 more students than last year’s official count in October of 164,976.

GCPS spokeswoman Sloan Roach said this is the largest gain in a single year since 2007-08. The largest jumps in enrollment came at the high school level at Meadowcreek, Norcross and Parkview. Meadowcreek added 204 more students than projected, while Norcross added 123 more than projected and Parkview added 121.

Roach said the district’s human resources department and principals work to balance existing employees at schools where student numbers may be down, and another school has a need in the same subject area.

“It really is a balancing act,” she said. “Schools already have begun the process of transferring and hiring additional teachers to address the pockets of growth.”

With at least 3,383 students each, Mill Creek High, Norcross High and Brookwood High were the district’s largest high schools. The largest middle schools were Hull, Creekland and Duluth, which all have at least 2,039 students. And the largest elementary schools were Nesbit, Hopkins and Peachtree, which all have at least 1,725 students.