Classroom crunch


The numbers are in and the writing is on the wall: Alexandrias student population is growing beyond the citys capacity, officials say.
Citywide enrollment has grown from 11,623 to 12,074 in the span of a year, a 3.7 percent increase, said Superintendent Morton Sherman. Pre-K through eighth grade saw the biggest jump, a 5.9 percent rise in enrollment over last years numbers, he said. 
Since Sherman took the reins in 2008, the number of students in Alexandria City Public Schools has grown by 9.5 percent, he said. Officials predict the trend will continue, with roughly 3-percent increases in each of the next several years. 
That will leave the district in a bind, Sherman said. Schools already are at capacity and short-term stop gaps, like modular classrooms and modified open enrollment are limited solutions, he said. 
Redistricting just doesnt work, theres no place to move these students, Sherman told the board. We are in a crisis and much more of a crisis than anticipated.
His remarks come as the board prepares to settle into the budget season. Sherman predicts ACPS will need to pursue an aggressive building plan over the next five to 15 years.