Upperman High School starting the school year at 107.3 percent capacity, but that doesn’t mean the school is bursting at the seams.
Putnam Schools Attendance Supervisor Chris Pierce said that number has to do with a capacity rating set when the building was built. He said high school capacity ratings at high schools differ from other levels.
“That high school, those kids move around so much and that movement helps create open blocks in classes,” Pierce said. “And you can actually have more students in the building than what it’s rated for, depending on how many teachers you have. And right now, we’re doing fine.”
Pierce said the most important piece is to follow the state’s guidelines for the student-teacher ratio for grades seven through 12. Under state law, the ratio cannot exceed 34.9 students per classroom, and Pierce said Upperman is nowhere near that number.
Pierce said the school system has prepared for the growth in the Baxter area with plans for an expansion of Upperman High School. He said they are continuing to plan for that growth as the system moves forward.
“I did have to close enrollment at Upperman High School after the registration day which is okay, and we had to close Upperman Middle back in the spring,” Pierce said. “There’s just a lot of movement and growth in that west end, we know that’s where it’s coming from, so we’re just looking ahead as we go.”