Nichols to see more students, more classes next year

Biloxi Public Schools plans to double the number of students at Nichols beginning next school year by offering more pre-K classes, and moving kindergarten and first grade classes to Nichols from nearby Gorenflo Elementary.

Gorenflo Elementary School will host Grades 2 through 5 next school year. 

“We’re seeing increases in the numbers of students attending school in east Biloxi,” Superintendent Arthur McMillan said. “All along, the school board has vowed to utilize Nichols in a greater capacity as enrollment grew. We’re seeing that and taking steps accordingly.” 

This school year, Nichols offered pre-K to about 200 students, which included seven classes administered by Gulf Coast Community Action Agency (GCCA), and three classes offered by Biloxi Public Schools. 

Now, with increasing enrollment at Gorenflo, Nichols will offer 11 pre-K classes, with 140 students in GCCA’s seven classes and 80 students in Biloxiā€™s four classes; five classes of kindergarten students, and five first grade classes, for approximately 110 students per grade. 

“We’re expecting to have approximately 440 students at Nichols, which is a hundred students above what we had before Hurricane Katrina,” McMillan said. “At Gorenflo, we’re expecting to have 400 students this coming school year. We had 380 students before Katrina.ā€¯ 

“The bottom line is that the school board is following through on a course of action that was initially planned. Nichols was repurposed because we didn’t have the enrollment in east Biloxi. Now, we’re seeing enrollment increases in the pre-K, kindergarten and first grade areas, and we’re accommodating that need.”