Cumberland County schools handle influx of students

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CAMP HILL, Pa. (WHTM) – Cumberland County’s houses and businesses are booming, making it the fastest growing county in the state. Now, new numbers show the county’s school districts are handling an influx of students.

Rebecca Sosik told us a common story in the Camp Hill Giant parking lot.

“We relocated from Michigan and when we did, we were looking around at the schools in the area and West Shore was at the top of our list,” she said.

Heard that before? We have, from Dana Satzer, also at the Giant.

“We were moving from Florida,” Satzer said, “and looking here, Camp Hill just has an excellent reputation, good teachers, small class sizes.”

It’s just one reason Cumberland County is the fastest growing county in the state. Enrollment in school over the past few decades is growing just as fast.

Approximate Change in Student Count (2008-2016)
Mechanicsburg Area+ 4%
Carlisle Area+6%
Cumberland Valley+10%
Camp Hill+16%

“We have had such an influx of young families that the student populations are disproportionately in the elementary schools and now arriving in the middle schools,” said Fred Withum, superintendent of the Cumberland Valley School District.

Cumberland Valley will soon break ground on a new elementary and middle school.

“Our elementary buildings, we have five of the seven that are over 100 percent of the capacity,” Withum said.

The same is true for capacity at the three elementary schools in the West Shore district’s north side and all of its middle schools.

“We have a number of neighborhoods under active construction, particularly in the Rossmoyne and Lower Allen Township areas,” said Todd Stoltz, superintendent of the West Shore School District.

Though the district’s overall population isn’t up, they’re discussing a shake-up to the make-up of the West Shore schools at a meeting Jan. 31 at 7 p.m., with a plan decided by mid-March.

“We’re seeing a shift in population where students are,” Stoltz said.

A theme that will likely continue as the county continues to grow.Get breaking news, weather and traffic on the go. Download our News App and our Weather App for your phone and tablet.

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