Archive for Thursday, August 24, 2006

Early enrollment figures show spike for district

August 24, 2006

Preliminary enrollment numbers show Eudora USD 491 continues to grow, and so far it appears the schools are keeping up.

As of Monday, the district had 1,358 students in through-the-door enrollment. Last year, the number topped out at 1,321.

"We estimate being up about 40 students, and we should be up that many," Superintendent Marty Kobza said.

The district also experienced growth in its full-time equivalency enrollment. The state uses the number ---- figured with kindergarten students being counted half as much as their older counterparts ---- to determine the district's funding for the year.

Early totals have the district topping out at 1,299.5 FTE ---- up more than 10 students from the total last year, which was 1,289.2.

The district will count FTE numbers Sept. 20 to report to the state for funding purposes.

Eudora High School appears to have the greatest spike in enrollment this year. The school showed an increase of 30 students from last year for a total of 416.

The increase didn't surprise Eudora High School Principal Dale Sample.

"I wouldn't be surprised because we had a fairly small senior class," Sample said. "Then we jumped up with this freshman class coming in."

The high school added 21 new students from out of district, while losing 14, Sample said.

"We've had a jump of seven there, too," Sample said.

Eudora Middle School also showed growth. The district estimated a through-the-door enrollment of 331 ---- up 18 from last year.

Last year, the district prepared for the growth by adding modular units at both Nottingham Elementary School and the middle school.

"Everything has been running very smoothly," Eudora Middle School Principal Rich Proffitt said.

"We've had a few kids ---- particularly in the sixth grade ---- who weren't sure where the classes were at in the first couple of days," Proffitt said. "But they have gotten in the routine and everything is running fine."

Nottingham Elementary School has also been working with the new modular units for its first-grade classes.

Although most issues of students traveling from the units for recess, lunch or supplemental programs have worked themselves out, more adjustments might be needed for the classrooms, Nottingham Elementary School Principal Jim Lauer said.

"They don't have drinking fountains up there. We're looking to find a way so there's a water cooler-type thing in each classroom," Lauer said.

Nottingham's overall enrollment appears to be up by one for a total of 326 students.Part of the total comes from a higher-than-expected number of kindergarten students.

Originally, Lauer thought this year's kindergarten class would top out at about 120 students. According to the district's numbers Tuesday, the total was 121.

The students have the option to participate in the district's first-ever all-day kindergarten program.

So far the students have been attending for only half days, the first full day of kindergarten will be Monday.

"Next Monday will be the first full day and we'll see how challenging going to lunch and staying for a whole day will be for them," Lauer said. "We're anticipating it will be a smooth transition for them."

Eudora West Elementary School also showed an increase this year. According to the totals, West gained five students this year for a total enrollment of 286 students.

Administrators predict the totals will fluctuate until mid-September when enrollment numbers are finalized.

"We'll have a real good idea Sept. 20, but right now it looks like we'll be right around that 40 number," Kobza said.

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