AMERICAN FORK, Utah (AP) -- More teachers may need to be hired in the growing Alpine School District, but officials won't know for sure until they get the figures on the number of pupils showing up as school gets under way this week.
Jerrilyn Mortensen, spokeswoman for Alpine School District, said she has been surprised by the estimated enrollment numbers she received from schools.
The district estimated 496 attendees for Saratoga Shores, but the current count is 635. At Eagle Valley Elementary in Eagle Mountain, enrollment was estimated at 530, but more than 600 have registered.
At the same time some schools, such as those in Orem, are not seeing any growth, she said.
"We can handle this," she said. "There may be some who start in larger classes and then we may hire some additional teachers."
The district expected 51,000 students to start school Monday.
More than 600 students at Saratoga Shores Elementary were starting in portable units as a new elementary is under construction. It is scheduled for completion in May.
With schools throughout the district starting the year at or above capacity, schools like Saratoga Shores and the new Willow Creek Middle School in Lehi had to be ready for students -- whether or not the building was finished.
"Ready or not, they are coming," said Saratoga Shores Principal Glen Martin.
Lehi Junior High has been operating above capacity for years, but will open at capacity this year, thanks to the new nearby Willow Creek Middle School.
There are now several empty portable trailers and 24 fewer teachers at Lehi, and that is fine with Principal Kevin Cox.
"It is just a lot calmer," he said. "We don't feel so rushed and hurried. We are getting to know the kids more individually."
(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)