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Emblem Academy expects solid enrollment

Posted: April 1, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: April 1, 2013 2:00 a.m.

When the rebranded Emblem Academy (formerly Emblem Elementary School) opens its doors in the fall, it will do so with an inaugural class of close to 600 students, about 40 percent of them transfers from other Saugus district schools, the school’s principal said last week.

Jon Baker, principal of Emblem Academy, said Thursday that 156 of the students enrolled so far are either current Emblem students attending class elsewhere or kindergartners who would be entering the school in the fall.

"Does Emblem have enough students to support it?" Baker said. "The answer is ‘yes.’"

Students who live in the area served by Emblem Elementary School have been going to school at Highlands Elementary School since the Saugus Union School District closed Emblem for renovation in 2010.

Emblem was also shuttered for three years of renovation prior to the 2009-2010 school year.

For a time, it looked like the school might remain closed indefinitely as the housing slowdown thwarted anticipated enrollment increases.

In January, members of the Saugus district board voted to reopen the school with an emphasis on teaching ethics, science, technology, engineering, entrepreneurship and math, which Baker termed the ESTEEM model.

The school was renamed Emblem Academy.

Among Emblem’s students next year will be 243 youngsters who will transfer from other schools in the Saugus district, as well as 26 from outside the district, Baker said.

He said transfers from within the district are spread fairly evenly across the district’s 14 other elementary schools.

"The idea (with Emblem) was to provide choice for parents. They can choose to enroll or not enroll their children in Emblem," Baker said. "We weren’t out there knocking on doors (for students)."

These transfer students will help even out class sizes around the district, said Saugus Superintendent Joan Lucid.

The school will also welcome 50 special education students and about 28 children who will constitute the school’s transitional kindergarten class, Baker said.

Baker said enrollment numbers for the coming school year will be finalized in the coming weeks, but estimated the enrollment capacity for Emblem to be between 850 and 900 students.

From here, Lucid said, Baker will work to determine what staffing is necessary for the school.


On Twitter @LukeMMoney


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