Archive for Thursday, August 10, 2006

Enrollment up, down for schools

August 10, 2006

Baldwin Junior High School Principal Connie Wright's annual enrollment day was much easier this year because half of her students were done by the time Aug. 2 rolled around.

Wright enjoyed a slow morning, because her second year of early enrollment at BJHS was a success this summer.

"We were not that busy in the morning of Aug. 2," Wright said. "In the afternoon, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., we just had a steady stream of people. We ended up with over 90 percent of our kids enrolled. We had a great enrollment."

BJHS started its early enrollment during the middle of July and saw numerous students and parents during the following two weeks.

"This year we started early enrollment July 17," Wright said. "By Aug. 2, we had 50 percent of our kids enrolled. So we had a great turnout and people were very appreciative."

Last summer, BJHS began its early enrollment program during July. It gave students and parents a chance to enroll during hours that fit their schedule for the month.

"The idea for the early enrollment came from the site council," Wright said. "We talked at the site council and thought that would be a convenience for people. We started last year and went from after July 4 all the way up to the enrollment date. We had very little response until after the middle of the month."

Wright believes the early enrollment allows people to take care of business when they are available during the summer.

"I think people are so busy during the summer and it's an advantage for them to pick the time they can come in," Wright said. "I think it's a convenience thing."

On Aug. 2, all six schools in the district enrolled many of their students and many of the schools had slightly higher numbers than last year.

BJHS ended the 2005-2006 school year with 298 students and is expecting 323 this year. Many of those students are currently enrolled, but others are on vacation or will enroll soon.

Wright said the increase is because of a small class of eighth graders moving to Baldwin High School and a larger class of fifth graders moving in to BJHS.

That small incoming class of freshman has had the opposite effect on BHS, as its enrollment is slightly lower than last year.

BHS Assistant Principal Bret Jones said they graduated a class of 106 seniors and will be bringing in a class of approximately 84 freshmen. Jones said that is the main reason in the enrollment drop at BHS, which he expects to drop about 15 to 20.

Three of the four elementary schools have enrolled a few more students than last year. Marion Springs Elementary School is expecting a couple more students in a few grades.

"We are up some from last year," MSES Principal Gus Wegner said of the enrollment numbers as of Tuesday. "Overall, we are over 120 students and last year we were at 115 when we finished the year."

Vinland Elementary School Principal Bill Scott said his school has also seen a slight increase this year. He even knows of a few students that are on vacation that will enroll when they return.

Baldwin Elementary School Primary Center finished last year with 240 students. As of Tuesday, BESPC Principal Deb Ehling-Gwin said her school has a total of 237 students enrolled or she knows will be enrolling.

Last year BESPC turned in a number of 222 students on Sept. 20 and that number will be higher this year.

The only elementary school that might have declined enrollment is Baldwin Elementary School Intermediate Center. BESIC Principal Tom Mundinger said his fifth grade class of last year had 87 students and the incoming third grade only has 62. That was the main reason for decreased enrollment numbers at BESIC.

However, Mundinger did say BESIC has enrolled more new students than it has seen students leave.

The final enrollment numbers are taken Sept. 20. All schools will know their total for the budget on that date.

For many students, the school year will begin Aug. 17. On that day, BESPC, BESIC, MSES and VES students will go to school from 8:15 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. BJHS sixth graders and BHS freshmen will have orientation from 8:15 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. on Aug. 17. All students in the district will begin classes on Aug. 18, except for BESPC kindergarteners and MSES 4-year-old program students. They will start on Aug. 21.

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