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Area schools report first day enrollment

Fourth grade teacher Val Burton greets student Mikayla Snyder at Century School.

Area schools are reporting mixed enrollment numbers this fall.

Park Rapids Superintendent Lance Bagstad was in the hallways and at the buses to greet the 1,504 kids arriving Tuesday, down from last fall's 1,529 on "opening day."

A sixth section of kindergarten was added again this year, the school board approving hiring of another teacher Wednesday.

"I'm excited to see how the operation works," Bagstad said of the evident planning, and "tremendous coordination. It's interesting to see how the organization works. Very impressive."

Bagstad headed over to Frank White Education Center to be "amazed" at the network of "agencies providing young ones a good, solid start. What an opportunity for families and kids, with all the organizations collaborating. It's a good system for kids and families," he said.

Student numbers by class, with last year's enrollment in parenthesis, are kindergarten 125 (126), first grade 125 (147), second grade 149 (101), third grade 102 (104) and fourth grade 99 (108).

Century elementary students total 600, compared with 586 a year ago.

Century middle school enrollment in fifth grade is 109 (123), sixth grade 123 (122), seventh grade 115 (131) and eighth grade 126 (102).

Middle school enrollment is at 473 compared with 478 last year.

High school enrollment, which tends to fluctuate the most in the first month, is at 431 compared with 465 students a year ago. Freshmen student enrollment was 99 (104), sophomores 97 (112), juniors 116 (129) and seniors 119 (120).

Nevis welcomed 535 students Tuesday; 20 more than arrived on day one a year ago.

Elementary school student numbers are up once again, 273 stepping into classrooms Tuesday compared with 264 a year ago.

High school students are up also, with 262 compared with 251 last year.

Fifty-three percent, 282 students, are open enrolled at Nevis.

"These are nice numbers," superintendent Steve Rassier said. "And it's exciting to bring in the new staff," he said of fresh faces greeting students.

By grade, with last year's numbers in parenthesis, enrollment is 41 (43) kindergartners, 42 (40) first graders, 44 (38) second graders, 37 (30) third graders, 34 (39) fourth graders, 38 (35) fifth graders and 37 (41) sixth graders.

Junior and senior high enrollment numbers are 41 (37) in seventh grade, 42 (45) in eighth grade, 45 (43) freshmen, 44 (49) sophomores, 46 (42) juniors and 44 (33) seniors.

Menahga School saw a dramatic increase in enrollment on its opening day. The total opening day enrollment for grades K-12 is 876 students compared to 818 in 2011 and 802 in 2010.

Menahga's open enrollment has been capped because the school doesn't have space for more students.

The incoming kindergarten class has 86 students, with 70 in first grade, 81 in second grade, 91 in third grade, 81 in fourth grade, 63 in fifth grade and 71 in sixth grade. The total for the elementary is 543 students.

At the high school, there are 58 seventh graders, 64 eighth graders, 60 ninth graders, 51 tenth graders, 53 eleventh graders and 47 twelfth graders. The total number of students at the high school is 333.

"It's a wonderful problem we have," Menahga Superintendent Mary Klamm said recently about the enrollment numbers. "We feel really, really fortunate. If you can think of all the problems we could have, this one's OK."

The school is building four classrooms but the project won't be completed until next school year.

Students who are residents in the Menahga School District are allowed to be enrolled at the school. Also, students who have already been enrolled will continue to be allowed to be a student at Menahga. The cap is for new open enrollment applications.

Menahga School has about 22 percent of its students as open enrollees.