Thursday, September 04, 2014

Enrollment update

Here's the outlook on the K-12 enrollment front at B-B-E, with a current figure of 643 students on opening day this year.

K-6 338
7-12 305

On May 16, 2014, the K-12 enrollment was 650 students.

K-6 355
7-12 290

The current kindergarten class is the smallest it has ever been in the history of B-B-E. Last spring the projection was for 36, but when Kindergarten Roundup night came around, only 28 showed up. The actual enrollment is somewhere between 28 and 36, I have to find that out later today.

The graduating class of the Class of 2014 had just 41 students. That was the smallest class we've ever graduated from B-B-E. Our biggest graduating class ever was in 2001 with 96 graduates.

So the fact that we have an extremely tiny kindergarten class isn't quite so terrible considering we graduated the smallest class ever. Even if our kindergarten enrollment is as low as 28, that still would represent a net drop in enrollment year-to-year of 13.

In fact, the net drop is just 7 students, which brings me to this conclusion: we picked up a few new kids at a greater number than whatever we may have lost over the summer.

**Update: I found a few more numbers digging through old notes I found while doing some office cleaning.
In October 2008, the B-B-E elementary school K-6 enrollment was 365. What's fascinating about that figure is that the average class size was 52 students in the elementary school that year. Jump ahead to the 2014-15 year, and basically most of those students have moved into the high school. While we've lost kids and gained kids just as any school does year to year, our 7-12 enrollment currently has an average class size of 50.8 students. We've lost a tiny amount of enrollment in the high school since 2008. That's a very difficult task to accomplish.

Our high school 7-12 enrollment is higher than it was three years ago (2011-12) when it was 298. What's hurting us this year is the very small kindergarten class. Let's overcome that with bigger incoming classes in future years!!! It can be done.

Minnewaska Area
I don't have up-to-date numbers in front of me, but their K-12 enrollment was 1,023 at the end of last year and was supposed to jump by around 20 students for 2014-15. At their K-4 school in Glenwood, they projected a jump from 383 last year to 402 this year. At their 5-12 building by Starbuck, they had 640 students at the end of last year and projected a jump to 666. That represents a huge jump in K-12 enrollment of 45 students. When I see their actual enrollment I'll pass that on.

Sauk Centre
Just to the north, in a school that's been plagued by heavy graduation losses similar to other area schools over the past few years, they saw a huge jump in K-12 enrollment this fall.

Last year on November 1, 2013, Sauk Centre had 947 kids enrolled in the K-12 public school system. At Holy Family School, they had 185 enrolled. The public school had 71 kindergarten students and graduated 69 in the Class of 2014.

Fast forward to this year, they have 85 kindergarten students, 91 seniors for the Class of 2015 and a K-12 enrollment of 999. That's a far cry from where they were in April 2013, when they bottomed out at 940 students.

At the only area school where open enrollment has boosted enrollment by leaps and bounds, Osakis has a current K-6 enrollment figure of 464. They have a small K-6 private school (St. Agnes), and I am unaware of those enrollment numbers as of today. In August, Osakis had 50 students pre-registered for kindergarten.

Back in September of 2013, Osakis had a K-12 enrollment figure of 866. At their private school, St. Agnes had 46 students.

Of the 866 students enrolled at Osakis, over 200 are open-enrolled into the school. They get at least 80 students from the Minnewaska district (Villard area). At one point in recent history, over 10 % of the kids going to school in Osakis lived inside the Minnewaska district.

West Central Area
At WCA (Hoffman, Kensington, Barrett, Wendell, Erdahl, Farwell, Elbow Lake), they budgeted for a K-12 enrollment of 720 over the summer. Preliminary enrollment as September approached showed a K-12 enrollment of 729, which represents a nice gain for their pocket book. At their K-4 school in Kensington they had 159 projected to be in school while at the K-4 building in Elbow Lake they had a projection of 161 students. At their 5-12 school in Barrett, they projected to have 409 students.

In September 2012, they had 717 students on opening day, so they're somewhat higher than they were 2 years ago. In their budget heading into the 2012-13 year, WCA projected a K-12 enrollment of 705.

Here's some interesting numbers on their fall sports programs:
Football grades 9-12: 42
Girls' tennis: just 9 girls in grades 7-12 (ouch)
Cross country: 16 boys and girls on the teams in grades 7-12
Volleyball: 33 in grades 9-12
Cheerleaders: 6

Their Fall 2013 numbers were: 34 in football grades 9-12, 11 in girls' tennis, 30 in cross country and 29 in volleyball grades 9-12.

At WCA, they have a huge mountain to climb as they ask voters to approve a significant property tax increase this fall. I don't have specific figures, but their levy is considerably higher than what B-B-E asks for ($837 per pupil).

Another fun fact about WCA: just like at B-B-E, they are breaking in a brand new band teacher in her first year of teaching. Their band teacher is from Mandan, ND, while ours is from New Prague.

As I see enrollment numbers in other area schools I'll post them. I've heard NL-S is having a small bump upward in K-12 enrollment.

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