MANATEE -- After five days of school, Manatee County's student population rose by 624 compared with this time last year, according to a state-mandated count of students.
A total of 47,431 students were in Manatee County schools as of Friday, the fifth day of school. After five days of school last year, there were 46,807 students, a growth of 1,007 from the same time during the 2013-14 year.
By the time the district hits 10 days this week, it expects approximately 1,000 more students than this time last year, bringing student enrollment to about 48,150.
Once the 10-day count is in, district officials will begin to look at which schools need more teachers to meet the state class size amendment.
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"We'll meet Friday and look at it and then make some decisions," said Cynthia Saunders, deputy superintendent of instruction. "It's pretty close to what we have seen as a trend."
The district projects and plans for students using a variety of tools, including a count of students done in the spring, matriculation and where growth is happening.
The district will count students in seats Friday, the 10th day of school. During the 2014-15 school year, 47,153 students were enrolled at the 10-day count, a growth of 1,195 students from the 2013-14 school year.
Here's a look at the schools gaining and losing the most students when comparing the five-day count for 2015-16 to 2014-15.
Gullett Elementary in Lakewood Ranch enrolled 120 more students up to 756.
Daughtrey Elementary in Bradenton, enrolled 57 fewer students down to 526.
Overall, the district enrolled 182 more elementary students when comparing year-to-year five-day counts.
Harllee Middle in Bradenton enrolled 28 more students up to 435.
Sugg Middle in Bradenton enrolled 73 fewer students down to 688.
Overall, the district enrolled 170 fewer middle school students when comparing year-to-year five day counts.
Southeast High School in Bradenton enrolled 260 more students up to 1,708.
Manatee High School in Bradenton enrolled 51 fewer students down to 2,375. Manatee still boasts the largest enrollment in the county.
Overall, the district enrolled 371 more high school students through five days of the school year.
Schools classified as specials, including PACE Center for Girls and Florida Virtual School, enrolled 91 fewer students.
District charter schools enrolled 424 more students.
The five-day numbers are in line with East County growth trends, Saunders said.
"That's going to be the trend moving forward," she said.
The district will continue enrolling new students, including migrants, throughout September. Another state-mandated count takes place in October to determine state funding and adherence to the class-size amendment.
Overcrowding is one ares of focus as the county continues to grow and the school district looks for ways to pay for new schools. A company is working with the district to help analyze growth trends and recommend where to build new schools. No new schools are in the works.
Funding new schools will also be an issue. State money cannot be used to build new schools unless the state recognizes a need for new schools. The state does not consider Manatee County is operating over capacity, which rules out using local taxes, or millage, to build new schools.
The district can use impact fees, which have been suspended since 2009; bond money, which requires voter approval; or sales tax money, which expires in 2017 and would need voter approval to reauthorize, to build new schools.
Changes in state funding have hampered the district's ability to build new schools, Manatee County School Board Chairman Bob Gause said.
Prior to the recession, the district collected 2 mill for capital outlay. When the recession hit, the state lowered it to 1.5 mill for districts, shifting that half mill into the instructional area of the millage collection. That half-mill difference meant about $15 million for the district, Gause said.
"There's a definite difference in the funds available," he said.
Meghin Delaney, education reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7081. Follow her on Twitter@MeghinDelaney.