CRESTVIEW North county school populations have surpassed 2012's enrollment by more than 200 students, school officials say.

CRESTVIEW North county school populations have surpassed 2012's enrollment by more than 200 students, school officials say.

With 2,024 students as of Aug. 30, Crestview High School remains the county's biggest school. The school's population has increased by nearly 100 students.

"Our numbers are way up," Principal Bob Jones said on opening day. "We registered 2,050. Niceville (High School) was 1,980."

School officials credited most of the increase to having the largest freshman class in the school's history 641 students as of Friday. Last year's freshman class was 400 students.

As of Friday, Niceville High School had 1,968 students. Fort Walton Beach and Choctawhatchee high schools had 1,769 and 1,618 students, respectively.

Riverside's 936 students have made it the county's largest elementary school. The school had to deny some waiver requests, Principal Tammy Matz said.

"We're over projection," she said. "We're just bustin' at the seams."

With 921 kids, Davidson is the district's second-largest middle school, surpassed by Ruckel's 988 students.

Because student enrollments continue to fluctuate as students transfer to other schools or move away, an official population count is unavailable until October.

Most Crestview schools saw population increases, though Riverside and Walker elementary schools and Shoal River Middle School saw slight decreases.

Northwood Elementary School principal Dr. Donna Goode attributed an increase in 65 Cougars to the school's designation as an arts and sciences institute.

"We've been publicizing that we offer drama and we offer dance and music. We're going to have productions," she said.

"We're getting ready to do a whole lot of fun and exciting things as well as the Common Core (State Standards Initiative), and that has attracted parents and kids who are excited about the new program."

A realignment of the Emerald Coast Career Institute at Richbourg School resulted in a decrease of 78 students, many of whom were integrated into middle and high school programs.

In area kindergarten-through-12th-grade schools, Baker and Laurel Hill schools saw slight population increases.

Currently 10,037 students are enrolled in north county schools, an increase of 185 over 2012's student population.

"We wouldn't mind going up to about 800 students," Goode said. "Our door is open."

Area school populations

School                                 2011-12     2012-13     Aug 2013

Antioch Elementary             786            832            869

Baker School                       1,337         1,367         1,373

Bob Sikes Elementary         799            823            880

Crestview High                   1,862         1,930         2,024

Davidson Middle                904            888            921

Laurel Hill School               452            431            437

Northwood Elementary       705            689            754

Riverside Elementary          847            952            936

Shoal River Middle             875            862            858

Walker Elementary              700            714            703

Richbourg E.S.E.                49              53              58

Southside Center                 178            197            188

Emerald Coast Career          104            114            36

Total enrollment                9,598         9,852         10,037

Source: Okaloosa County School District

Contact News Bulletin Staff Writer Brian Hughes at 850-682-6524 or Follow him on Twitter @cnbBrian.