Four months after the Magnolia School District placed two schools on a year-round calendar because of overcrowding, it may be forced to place a third on the same schedule because its enrollment continues to grow.
A majority of the Board of Trustees on Monday ordered its administration to study the feasibility of placing another of its eight schools on a year-round schedule after a report showed that the district’s enrollment is up 3% since June.
The elementary school district, which has 16 portable classrooms on its campuses, now has 5,179 students, compared to 5,039 four months ago.
The administration said it would have a report ready next month.
“I would like to see us start the process of talking to the different principals to see which schools would like to do it,” Board President Ruth W. Good said.
Members Esther H. Wallace and Richard K. Shimeall agreed.
“We are not putting this in cement, and we are not saying which school yet, but we need to get started,” Wallace said.
Placing a school on a year-round calendar allows it to increase its enrollment by 25%. The students and their teachers are broken into four groups. While three of the groups are in session, the fourth is on a one-month vacation. When it returns, another group takes a one-month vacation.
At the end of the school year, the students will have had three one-month vacations instead of the one three-month vacation that students on a traditional September-to-June calendar receive. And the school will have been open all 12 months.
Board members Ray Morales and Barbara J. Clendineng said they would prefer to wait and see whether the state will pay for the conversion to a year-round calendar before committing another school to that schedule.
The state promised to pay the district $150,000 when it converted Robert M. Pyles and Mattie Lou Maxwell elementary schools to year-round schedules in July, but the district has yet to receive the money, Supt. Arch J. Haskins said. Converting the two schools will cost the district $342,000 this year, according to a report.
When a school goes on a year-round schedule, it must hire an assistant principal and pay two months’ additional salary to its secretaries and other support staff, according to a district report.
To be eligible for a state grant for converting a school to year-round, the district must have 5% more students enrolled above capacity.