Archive for Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Enrollment steady at Tonganoxie, McLouth

August 22, 2007

Enrollment definitely is on the rise at Tonganoxie High School.

THS principal Jamie Carlisle said Monday that the freshman through senior classes had 618 students enrolled thus far.

The largest class is the 10th grade with 172 students.

The senior class has 164 enrolled, the freshman class 146 and the junior class 136.

Of course, school started last Wednesday and the enrollment numbers aren't official by state standards until Sept. 20.

But Carlisle said there definitely is an increase at THS.

"We've got some big classes and we've still got them coming in," Carlisle said. "Our administrators and people who have been here a while were really opening their eyes and were surprised at the numbers."

Carlisle, who is in his first year at THS, thought last school year's final enrollment was between 570 and 580, so currently the school is seeing a jump of between 40 and 50 students.

At Tonganoxie Middle School, principal Jill Dickerson reported Monday that the eighth grade had the highest number of students with 168, while the fifth grade is the smallest at 133 in the fifth-through eighth-grade building. There were 149 sixth-graders enrolled as of Monday and 143 seventh-graders.

Tonganoxie Elementary School principal Tammie George noted that there is a decline in students at the elementary school, which includes grades kindergarten through fourth. At the end of the 2006-07 school year, enrollment was at 600.

This year, preliminary numbers show enrollment at roughly 585. George said there's a smaller kindergarten class than there has been the past two years. And, the incoming kindergarten class is smaller than the outgoing fourth-grade class that left in May, so that naturally affects enrollment.

George, though, noted that things could change before districts report enrollment to the state Sept. 20.

"Today we had another child enroll and another drop," George said Monday. "So that is preliminary."

However, George said she thought enrollment would remain steady this year overall.

"Oh yeah, because I think district-wide I think we're going to be about the same," she said. "Overall, I think we'll be very similar."

McLouth School District

McLouth Superintendent Jean Rush reported Monday that enrollment is up slightly in her school district.

"It's pretty evenly distributed," Rush said. "We didn't have a large impact at any one grade level. But our numbers are up a little bit."

Rush said 567 students were enrolled in the district as of Monday.

However, Rush also noted that more and more students are moving into the 90-square-mile district in its southern areas, which stretch down some 18 miles to the Douglas County line.

"That's probably been our biggest impact," Rush said. "A lot more kids are riding the bus this year. That's been our greatest challenge, more of a move into rural area instead of town and getting everybody picked up and delivered home in a timely fashion."

The high school includes: 47 seniors, 39 juniors, 53 sophomores and 40 freshmen.

Enrollment totals in the younger grades are as follows: Eighth grade, 57; seventh grade, 35; sixth grade, 42; fifth grade, 50; fourth grade, 33; third grade, 35; second grade, 34; first grade, 38; and kindergarten, 40.

"That's an optimum number," Rush said about the kindergarten class. "If we have a class size right at 40, that's a healthy number."

In addition, the district offers a pre-school class through a state grant.

Last year, the district had 19 in the class. This year, there are 24, the maximum number for the class.

A district must determine how many students it will allow for the grant.

The class capacity was determined by past kindergarten sizes and how many youths would need the service.

"Some parents would prefer to choose their own preschool programs," Rush explained. "Originally that's why we targeted the number last year at 19, if we could fill it, and more funding this year. This is probably a good number for our size of district."

Basehor-Linwood School District

Basehor-Linwood recently conducted preliminary enrollment counts and found that 598 students were enrolled at the high school, according to assistant superintendent David Howard.

Basehor-Linwood Middle School had about 310 students, Glenwood Ridge Elementary School was at 283, Linwood Elementary had 121 and the Sixth Grade Center was at 137. School board members noted that Basehor Elementary had the most startling number of students at 407. The school's capacity is listed at 410 students. Adding in special education students, the preliminary head count is about 2,192 students total, Howard said, up more than 3 percent from last year's rough count of 2,116.

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