The Port Arthur News
PORT ARTHUR —
Two weeks into the 2013-14 academic year, the Port Arthur Independent School District has seen an increase in enrollment.
PAISD Interim Superintendent Mark Porterie reported that after the ninth day of the 2012-13 year, the district’s head count was at 8,894 students. As of the ninth day of school this year — Sept. 5 — the head count was 9,135 students, an increase of 241.
“We are always happy to welcome new and returning students to our district,” Porterie said.
The majority of the enrollment boon comes from elementary campuses, Porterie said, particularly at Sam Houston Elementary and Tyrrell Elementary.
“We are aware that before a family with school-age children move into a district, they research the district to find out what type of curriculum the district delivers, extracurricular activities, graduation rate, and how many students are successful in post-secondary studies after graduating from high school,” Porterie said. “All of these questions are important to parents contemplating the education of their children.”
Enrollment at PAISD’s neighboring districts has remained fairly steadfast. At 5,017 students thus far in the 2013-14 academic year, Nederland Independent School District is down only 17 students from 5,034 this time last year.
“That small fluctuation does not catch our attention,” said Stuart Kieschnick, NISD assistant superintendent for curriculum.
NISD’s enrollment has hovered around 5,000 students for the last five or six years, Kieschnick said. This year, growth in different sections of Nederland led to a small increase in enrollment at Helena Park Elementary, but nothing out of proportion with other campuses.
Enrollment at Port Neches-Groves Independent School District has also changed very little overall, said Bonnie Jennings, secretary to Superintendent Rodney Cavness. As of Sept. 3, 4,874 students were enrolled in PN-GISD — only four less than Aug. 28, 2012.
Porterie attributed the rise in PAISD’s enrollment to new business in Port Arthur, adding that the growing trend was one he hoped to continue.
“The expansion of new businesses has had a direct impact on student enrollment, as well as students coming back into the district from other districts,” Porterie said. “The Port Arthur Independent School District is aware of the needs and wants of families, and we are making every effort to deliver a well-prepared student that will be able to compete with any student in the world.”