USD 383’s enrollment up 171 kids

By Bryan Richardson

Preliminary USD 383 2011-12 enrollment data shows an increase of 171 students from last fall’s official numbers.

District officials had previously indicated they expected about 210 additional students, but Associate Supt. Bob Seymour said he’s comfortable with the enrollment, which counts 5,875 K-12 students. That total excludes virtual students.

Seymour said being 39 students lower than projected won’t impact class sizes. “We are clearly close to our projections in terms of the teachers we needed to hire and the space we needed to open up,” he said.

Seymour said the numbers will continue to fluctuate until the official enrollment count date on Tuesday, Sept. 20. The district had an addition of 140 students at last year’s count date.

The biggest increases this year are at Anthony Middle with 62 students and Bluemont Elementary with 51 students. The district transferred students to Bluemont after adding a first grade and sixth grade classroom to the school.

Decreases are at Northview Elementary (20 students), Ogden Elementary (16 students) and Woodrow Wilson Elementary (10 students).

The biggest grade increase is first grade with 74 additional students. Sixth grade and seventh grade follow with increases of 45 and 40, respectively.

The first grade increase can be attributed to the large 2010-11 kindergarten class, whose increase of 84 students made it one of the largest classes in district history. Bluemont and Bergman each added a first grade class to help accommodate this year’s increase.

This year’s kindergarten class is actually down by 23 students. District projections assumed the same number of kindergarteners would be enrolled.

“Even though that’s down a bit from last year, it’s still up from where we’ve been in previous years,” Seymour said.

Other grade decreases include fourth grade (25 students), fifth grade (14 students), ninth grade (17 students) and tenth grade (12 students).

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