Six days into the 1997-98 school year, Capistrano Unified School District has announced record student enrollment figures.
As of Monday, 40,098 students were enrolled at the district's 39 schools, up 2,813 students from the same time last year. The 7.5% jump in enrollment marks the highest increase in district history.
"Our growth is astounding," said Carleen Wing Chandler, associate superintendent of business and fiscal services. "In the past two years, we have grown in this district over 5,000 students."
The growth reaches across the district and in all grade levels. District staff had projected enrollment would reach about 40,000 in the second month of school, but were surprised to reach that figure after just the first week of the 1997-98 year.
The increase can be attributed to many factors, including new housing in communities such as Aliso Viejo and Rancho Santa Margarita and the revitalized economy, district officials said.
With the new figures, Capistrano Unified becomes the 13th largest school district in California. In Orange County, only Santa Ana Unified, which has more than 50,000 students, and Garden Grove Unified have larger enrollments.