Enrollment for the New Albany-Plain Local School District's 2019-20 school year is expected to remain steady, according to Superintendent Michael Sawyers.

"Right now, we're stable and looking good," Sawyers said.

The first day of classes for grades 1 to 12 is Thursday, Aug. 15.

Sawyers said he expects enrollment to be around 5,050 by the second week of September. The district ended the 2018-19 school year with 5,051 students, he said.

As of Aug. 5, 4,969 students were enrolled, with 86 more students in the middle of the enrollment process, Sawyers said. He said he anticipates about 50 students would withdraw.

District leaders originally had projected that 4,907 students would enroll, he said.

The freshman class at New Albany High School is the largest class in the district at 436 students, Sawyers said. For comparison, the high school has 385 juniors, he said.

Sawyers said he attributes the large freshman class size to a "baby boom."

As of Aug. 5, the high school had 1,628 students enrolled, and the building has a capacity of 1,700, he said. The high school building has greater flexibility than other buildings, he said, because some students take college courses off campus.

At New Albany Middle School, 763 students were enrolled in grades 7 and 8 as of Aug. 5, Sawyers said. The building has a capacity of 1,000 students, he said.

The seventh-grade class is the second largest class in the district at 406 students, he said.

"Bubble groups" of large classes often require extra sections of courses and a relocation of teachers, Sawyers said.

For the first time, both New Albany Intermediate School and New Albany Primary School likely will exceed 1,100 students enrolled, Sawyers said. Both buildings have a capacity of 1,200 students, he said.

At the intermediate school, 1,090 students were enrolled in grades 4 to 6 as of Aug. 5, Sawyers said. At the primary school, 1,094 students were enrolled in grades 1 to 3, he said.

Although 1,100 students make New Albany Primary School larger than many others in Ohio, the building faculty and staff are committed to creating a safe, loving and caring environment for children, said principal Teresa Smith.

"We believe the size of the school isn't as important as the quality of the educators in the school, she said. "We are blessed to have dedicated educators at New Albany Primary School."

The New Albany Early Learning Center, which begins classes Tuesday, Aug. 20, and Thursday, Aug. 22, for pre-K and kindergarten, had 394 students enrolled as of Aug. 5, Sawyers said. The capacity for that building is 600, he said.

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@ThisWeekSarah