Schools: West Grand enrollment shows promise |

Schools: West Grand enrollment shows promise

by Will Bublitz

After years of falling student numbers, enrollment in the West Grand School District may have stabilized.

That is the hope of Superintendent Jeff Perry who reviewed Monday’s official Oct. 1 “head count” required by the Colorado Department of Education. The enrollment count every year on that date determines the amount of state funding allocated to a school district based upon the number of students.

“Last year, we had 482 students in our October 1 count,” Perry said. “On Monday, we had 481. That stops a trend where we were losing 10 to 15 kids a year for the past seven to nine years.”

Perry attributed the enrollment drop over the past few years to changing employment opportunities for families in the area, such as those related to the Louisiana Pacific lumber mill and the Henderson Mine.

“With our enrollment no longer spiraling downward, we hope our enrollment will now continue to rise,” he said.

Although there was a drop in one student compared with last year’s total enrollment, Perry said this year’s enrollment figures are actually better for the district’s state funding. The reason for this, he explained, is that the number of “full-time equivalent” students actually went up this school year because fewer kindergartners entered West Grand Elementary this fall.

Although they may attend school day for a full day, kindergartners are only funded by the state on a half-time status.

More discussion about the district enrollment figures as well as other subjects is expected at the West Grand Board of Education’s next meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 9.

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