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Kindergartners in Alyssa LaVoie's class became detectives this week when the Gingerbread Man they'd placed in the oven vanished. They set off armed with clues, eventually returning to the classroom where, from left, "sniffer" Kobe Burton, Makenzie Laferriere and Kylie Garwood spotted him - and ate him, per the classic rhyme. (Jean Ruzicka / Enterprise)

School enrollment numbers announced

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Park Rapids Area Schools reported increased enrollment as classes began this week.

Unofficial numbers show Park Rapids having between 30 and 35 more kids than last year, said Superintendent Glenn Chiodo.

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"We were anticipating the other way, so this is good news," he said.

Numbers fluctuate the first week or two of school so Chiodo said he hopes these will continue to be the numbers.

The middle and elementary school has 1,040 students enrolled. The most significant increase was in kindergarten.

Century School principal Bruce Gravalin said an additional section of kindergarten was added to accommodate the additional students. There are now five sections of kindergarten.

By grade, there were 114 students in kindergarten, 111 first-graders, 117 second-graders, 124 third-graders, 126 fourth-graders, 120 fifth-graders, 108 sixth-graders, 104 seventh-graders and 116 eighth-graders.

The high school has 468 students total. By grade, there are 134 freshmen, 129 sophomores, 104 juniors and 101 seniors.

High School principal Al Judson said he was still getting new registrations along with requests from other schools for transcripts to attend elsewhere.

Firm numbers are expected by the middle of next week.

Nevis slightly down

Nevis' enrollment dropped by 21 students from last year, the economy likely a contributing factor, superintendent Steve Rassier said of families moving from the area "due to lack of job opportunities."

Tuesday, 525 students arrived to greet teachers, with 267 in the elementary, compared to 281 last year, and 258 in high school, in contrast to 2008's 265 students.

Class numbers were 32 kindergarteners (compared with last year's 39), 37 in first grade (40), second grade remained stable at 39 students, 36 in third (41), 42 in fourth (40), 39 in fifth (45) and 42 in sixth (37).

Forty-two seventh graders are enrolled (55), 54 eighth graders (47) and 46 freshmen (44). Sophomores were stable at 38, juniors numbered 43 (41) and the senior class has 35 students (40).

Menahga sees increase

Menahga enrollment is up again this year with a total of 772 students attending school this year - a 20-student increase from last year.

The elementary school (kindergarten to sixth grade) is up from 435 students to 465, while the high school enrollment is down from 317 to 307.

On the first day of school, Menahga welcomed 83 kindergartners; 77 first graders; 65 second graders; 71 third graders; 52 fourth graders; 60 fifth graders; and 57 sixth graders.

At the high school, the seventh and eighth grade classes each have 52 students. Ninth grade welcomed 54 students while 10th grade welcomed 42.

Fifty-one 11th graders will attend Menahga School this year with 56 seniors.

Laporte numbers stable

Laporte's enrollment is stable, with 133 arriving in the elementary grades, 123 in high school. This compares with 140 elementary students last year, 129 in secondary grades.

Twenty-two students greeted their kindergarten teacher with 16 in first grade, 21 in second, 16 in third, 23 in grade four, 20 in fifth and 15 in sixth grade.

Nineteen students are enrolled in seventh grade, 27 in eighth, 23 in ninth, 29 in 10th, 11 enrolled as juniors and 25 as seniors.

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