Grand County school enrollment mixed: up in the east, down in the west
SKY-HI DAILY NEWS
Now that East and West Grand students are back in school, enrollment appears to have risen substantially on the East side of Grand County and declined on the West.
The official enrollment count day is not until Oct. 1, when the Colorado Department of Education sets the amount of funding each school district will receive based on its student enrollment. But school officials already have an idea of what the figures might look like.
In May, 463 West Grand School District students were enrolled in the K-12 classes. The headcount on Aug. 21 was 454.
Including the preschool, this gives the district an average of 479.4 FTE (full-time equivalent) students; it was previously averaging 481.6 FTE students. If this number doesn’t change by Oct. 1, the district will lose $18,000 in state funding.
However, this will not largely impact the district budget because school administrators anticipated a drop in enrollment last year.
Charter and private schools also have an impact on public schools, West Grand Superintendent Jeff Perry said. “Most families that we’re aware of either left the community or left the state ” that was our biggest factor.”
West Grand has received more than $8,000 per student and $4,000 for part-time students enrolled, in past years.
Enrollment has climbed at East Grand. Last year, the schools had 1,370 students enrolled. Officials anticipated an increase of 15 students for the 2008-09 school year, but actually have 1,429 students enrolled so far, an increase of 59 pupils from last year.
East Grand received $6,337 per student last year from the state. That amount could change this year, said Dr. James Chamberlin, director of student achievement.
The district is “pleased” enrollment has gone up, and the district’s building improvements will accommodate that growth, he said.
Enrollment is up 20 students at Fraser Valley Elementary; 17 at Grand Lake Elementary; 20 at Indian Peaks Charter School; and 25 at Middle Park High.
Enrollment dropped by seven at Granby Elementary and 17 at East Grand Middle School.
This is one of the largest kindergarten classes East Grand has had, with an additional 18 students enrolled from last year, Chamberlin noted.
Some parents have asked the district if their students can take a couple classes at West Grand even if they’re not enrolled. The district does not receive any state funding if they’re not enrolled half- or full-time, Perry said.
The district is not required by law to allow non-enrolled students into their classrooms.
In the past it has allowed private and home-schooled students to take district courses. Now, school officials are rethinking that decision.
District administrators recommend that students are enrolled at least part-time and take at least four classes in order attend West Grand Schools. The Board of Education will establish a policy at its meeting at 7 p.m. Oct. 14 at the West Grand School District Office, 715 Kinsey.
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