HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Two weeks ago, Ewa Makai Middle School's registered enrollment for this school year was about 900 seventh- and eighth-graders.
On Friday, it was closer to 940 and climbing.
"We expect another 10, 20, 30 in the next couple weeks," principal Ed Oshiro said.
Public school administrators said not knowing the final tally of their student body before the first day of public school on Monday affects planning for class sizes and cafeteria needs. Even supplies of school apparel that were pre-ordered were based on projections.
"As we speak I just had some concerns from parents saying, 'Hey, what is this? I went down to the store and they said they ran out of everything,'" Oshiro said.
Public schools base enrollment forecasts on the previous school year and how many incoming students they think they'll get. But there are always last minute sign ups.
Waipahu High School anticipates about 2,400 students this year.
"Our registrar is still registering students even at this point. School starts on Monday," principal Keith Hayashi said.
Waipahu can't afford a big spike in unexpected enrollees. The student body is already bigger than the campus was built to handle.
"We adjust," Hayashi said. "Student needs and student achievement is always at the forefront of any decision that we make. We consider all of that and we're just flexible."
Principals said the annual uncertainty demands flexibility.
At Ewa Makai Middle, registrar Chinami Yoshii's desk is covered with enrollment forms from new students.
"For the whole month of August pretty much we'll have students coming in from the mianland or even private schools because private schools have a little different schedule also," she said.
Last year, enrollment at the elementary school level was affected by a change in the age requirement.
The state Department of Education takes two enrollment counts in August. The final tally is released in late September or early October.