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Twenty days in, enrollment slightly above projections for Shelby County Schools

Students at Chimneyrock Elementary School on the first day of school, Aug. 8, 2016.
Students at Chimneyrock Elementary School on the first day of school, Aug. 8, 2016.
Laura Faith Kebede

Shelby County Schools completed its fourth week of the new school year on target with enrollment projections, setting the stage for the next wave of staffing adjustments.

Nearly 91,000 students were registered on the Friday before Labor Day weekend. That’s slightly higher than the Memphis district’s projection of 90,428 and up from 74,000 a few days before the school year began on Aug. 8.

The 20th day of school is a significant mark used by the district to add, remove or relocate staff based on enrollment. It will be several weeks before the state verifies the count, spokeswoman Kristin Tallent said Tuesday.

The registration number does not include students who attend district-authorized charter schools. Total enrollment, including charters, is expected to reach 104,000 students, down from 109,000 last school year. That total was not available Tuesday.

Administrators expect student rolls to grow further in Tennessee’s largest district. Late registration is a chronic challenge for Shelby County Schools, where poverty and high mobility present barriers to timely enrollment. Declining enrollment across the district has led to annual budget constraints and layoffs.

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