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Newton public school enrollment, staff diversity rise

Newton school officials released reports Nov. 29 showing growth in both school enrollment and staff diversity. Enrollment is now at 12,657 students, up for the twelfth consecutive year, with 1,389 students added from 2004 to 2016, according to a report issued by the School Committee. It grew by 149 students since last year, with the largest level of growth at the high school level. The district is projected to increase by an additional 320 students, or 3 percent, over the next five years. The number of educators and administrators of color hired by the schools increased from 11.59 percent last school year to 15.93 percent this year, according to a diversity hiring report released by Superintendent David Fleishman. Overall, staff of color in the school system has increased from 9.74 percent, or 228 people, in the fiscal year 2013 to 11.59 percent, or 295 people, in the current fiscal year, the report said. In reviewing the district’s new source hiring, administrators found that the most effective means of recruiting staff members from diverse backgrounds involved networking in person and through social media connections, including employee referrals, connections with colleges of education, and job fairs.

Allison Pohle can be reached at allisonpohle@gmail.com.