Although enrollment wasn't capped at any schools within Dublin City School District this school year, capping will return for the 2017-2018 school year.

Students new to the district who are going into the second and fourth grades in the Thomas Elementary School attendance area will instead go to Bailey Elementary School, said Tracey Miller, director of student operations.

Miller said he guarantees additional capping at other grade levels and schools will be announced as the district evaluates regular enrollment reports.

This school year, capping was prevented in part with the addition of 22 elementary classrooms at buildings throughout the district, Miller said, along with the redistricting of about 500 students.

"It really helped," Miller said.

Meanwhile, enrollment continues to grow.

From June 1, 2016, through April 18, the district added 355 students, Miller said.

During the past three years, the district added 1,144 students, equivalent to the population of a high school. During the past 10 years, the district has averaged a growth rate of 240 new students per year.

Miller said multiple factors are contributing to the district's growth.

Whereas the district has a reputation as a good place to receive an education, Dublin is also one of the top places in the nation to live, Miller said. The city is ranked highly for its low crime rate, family friendly atmosphere and green space.

Additionally, the housing market has rebounded over the past three to four years, he said.

Enrollment capping has traditionally been implemented at elementary schools rather than middle and high schools because absorbing new students is more challenging at elementary schools, Miller said.

Students who are required to attend a different elementary school than the one that serves the area in which they live are bused to another building, Miller said.

"It's not a great situation for our kids, our parents or our schools even," Miller said.

Thomas Elementary School has 816 students, whereas Bailey has 561, Miller said.

The two buildings are of a similar size.

Bailey is about 71,000 square feet and Thomas is about 78,000 square feet, said Jeff Stark, director of business operations.

Thomas Principal Jenny Davis said capping has been a reality for the district for many years.

"It is necessary due to the constant and uneven growth we see throughout the district," she said.

A long-term solution for enrollment growth requires additional funding.

Ultimately, the district needs to see when funding will be available to build a new middle school and a new elementary school, which would require massive redistricting, Miller said.

Dublin Board of Education members recently approved the purchase of land for $1 in the Jerome Village development.

That land has been identified as the site for new elementary and middle schools.

Although nothing has been finalized, the district administration is considering November 2018 to request a funding package -- likely in the form of a no-new millage bond issue -- from voters for the projects, Superintendent Todd Hoadley said.

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