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Ashley Rodrigue / Eyewitness News
Email: arodrigue@wwltv.com | Twitter: @ashleyrwwl

MANDEVILLE, La. -- The start of school in St. Tammany Parish began as it has for the past several years, with more kids than the year before.

The actual numbers are still being crunched, but the growth in some of the state's best schools is a mirror image of what's happening across St. Tammany.

At Fontainebleau High School, day one started quietly, which some say is an accomplishment in a school likely seeing more than the 1,700 students, counted last school year.

But District Superintendent Trey Folse said St. Tammany takes growth in stride, and with pride.

'Results, high expectations, parental involvement is fantastic,' he said.

Making room for more has been a trend across the parish lately. Proof of that can be found on street corners featuring 'Now Hiring' signs and in new neighborhoods popping up in pleasing numbers.

'As of right now, we're up to 20 percent in new building permits from last year,' said Parish Director of Development Sidney Fontenot.

Fontenot said dealing with growth isn't always easy, but it has been a work in progress in St. Tammany Parish, including now offering a one-stop shop for people needing permits to continue evolving the parish.

'We've been able to make improvements to interchanges, widen roads, we can do retention ponds to help the drainage for our citizens,' he said.

For the school district, handling more than last year's count of about 37,000 requires strategic placement of teachers and building new schools before the time is right.

'As we go, the community goes, as the community goes, we go, so we know we're partners with the community and the parish and the businesses and we want to do it together with them,' Folse said.

In addition to significant statewide performance rankings, St. Tammany boasts ACT scores that rank better than the national average.

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