ORANGE BEACH, Fla. (WKRG) — The Orange Beach City School System has seen a 17% rise in student enrollment since separating from Baldwin County and a 12% overall increase in enrollment compared to last year, according to a release from the OB Board of Education.

The Orange Beach City School System is in their first year as their own school system. The board of education separated from Baldwin County Schools on July 1. The first day of school for the new system was Wednesday, Aug. 10.

According to the release, Orange Beach City Schools currently serves 1,250 students. This number is “inclusive of two preschool units.”

Two new teachers have been “unanimously approved,” to “accommodate the increase.” An additional kindergarten and third-grade teach have been hired.

According to the release, board members and Superintendent Randy Wilkes have discussed two more elementary school P.E. teachers. Wilkes said the school system “will immediately conduct a search for two P.E. aides.”

“We added the two teachers [Thursday] night,” said Wilkes. “The board was very gracious with going ahead and making it official.”

Wilkes said the high school schedule still needs some “massaging,” but think they will be fine. Wilkes acknowledged there is a country-wide teacher shortage, but said there is not one in Orange Beach.

“I think its a testimony, really, to the quality people in the area and the fact that people want to come and work,” said Wilkes. “Fortunately, not only does [Orange Beach] have qualified applicants, we have people asking us where to apply as we speak.”

Kindergarten Through Grade 12 – Average Daily Membership

School yearOBESOBMHSTotalPercent Increase
2022-23 (as of Aug. 12)5776371,21412.31%
2021-22547.7533.21,080.923.26%
2020-21497.65379.25876.9N/A

“We planned for the increase,” said Wilkes. “Everyone on the board and everyone involved worked for the expected increase.”

Wilkes told WKRG his board expected the rise in enrollment. He saw a jump in third grade and knew there would be a big jump in kindergarten as well.

“I don’t know if I have had a smoother start to school,” said Wilkes. “Everyone has been excited, parents have been extremely patient, busses have run well. I just can’t say enough about the start of the school year.”

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