Enrollments soar at 2 Westside schools
Jackson up over 25%, with most of students from Lincoln and Bates

       Jackson Elementary will need all three of its portable buildings for classrooms when it opens for the 2013-14 school year Aug. 19.

After her house - with all her school materials - was destroyed in the Black Forest Fire, new Jackson Ele-mentary teacher Camla Schultz didn't know what she'd do for the coming school year. But contributions have poured in from the school district and fellow teachers, as seen in what she's holding, the bag in front and cabinets in back.
Westside Pioneer photo

       That's because the school expects to have 400 students - a big jump from the 280 at this time a year ago.
       The main reason is students who would have attended two east-of-I-25 elementaries - Lincoln and Bates, both of which District 11 closed after the last school year. With the new attendance area changes, Jackson is projected to absorb 80 percent of the 150 students from Lincoln alone, according to Principal Sara Miller.
       The school was growing anyway, from families with children moving into the old Jackson attendance area that encompasses the Holland Park area west of I-25. “We're excited to see who comes in the front door,” she commented.
       The portables have been on the Jackson site for a number of years, used for some classes but in recent years mostly for storage.
       Other ways the school will be accommodating the new students (in addition to bus transport) is with additional teachers. Miller was allowed to fill five new full-time positions, plus “six others that were part-time that became full-time,” she said. “So we've grown considerably.”
       The school will have three separate classes for kindergarten, first and second grades, a grade 3-4 combination, two third grades, two fourths and two fifths.
       To help the east-of-I-25 students, four of the teachers being added are from Lincoln and one from Bates. “We're excited to get them,” Miller said. “It gives some continuity to the new students.”
       The Bates teacher has a back story all her own. First-grade teacher Camla Schultz lives in Black Forest and her home was destroyed in the June fire. Not only that, Schultz had all her classroom materials in her basement. At the time, “I thought maybe I should take the year off,” she said this week, recalling her concern that because of her losses she might be shortchanging the students she'd have. “It's not their fault my house burned.”
       But as word got around the district, Schultz was overwhelmed by the generosity of district officials and other teachers. “Every day is an amazing reminder that I'm so blessed,” Schultz said. Just at Jackson, “people have gone above and beyond. They didn't even know me. But they've given me what they have and they go shopping for me, and bring in boxes and boxes of supplies and little treasures for the kids. It's pretty impressive.”

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