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Schools report first day enrollment

Park Rapids seniors Josh Severtson, left, and Austin Carlson were logging onto their iPads Wednesday, agreeing the implementation is “a neat idea." (Jean Ruzicka / Enterprise)

Area schools are reporting mixed enrollment numbers this fall.

In Park Rapids, 1,498 students arrived Tuesday, down slightly from last year’s 1,504 on “opening day.”

“We’re down a smidgeon,” Superintendent Lance Bagstad acknowledged, attributing this to the community’s mobility. “But these are good numbers,” he said, noting 110 seniors graduated last year.

Century Elementary students number 629 this year, compared with 600 last fall; 429 middle school students arrived, down from 473 in 2012, and 440 high school student are enrolled, up from last year’s 431, the enrollment in grades 9-12 higher than expected.

Lower numbers in middle school were due in part to a large class of eighth graders entering high school this year, Bagstad said.

Preschool numbers continue to grow. “I am still amazed at the preschool,” he said, echoing last year’s first impression of the Park Rapids program. “It’s a really solid model.”

Overall, Bagstad said he’s “happy with enrollment numbers,” which are up from where they were in May. “It’s positive and looking good. After the summer shuffle, we’ll see how it ends up.”

Student numbers by grade, with last year’s enrollment in parenthesis are kindergarten 123 (125), first grade 129 (125), second grade 120 (149), third grade 155 (102) and fourth grade 102 (99).

In the middle school, 102 (109) entered fifth grade; 106 (123) are sixth graders; 116 (115) are enrolled as seventh graders and 105 students are in eighth grade (126).

High school enrollment, which tends to fluctuate the most in the first month, is 127 freshmen (99), 106 (97) sophomores, 92 juniors (116) and 115 seniors (119).

Nevis welcomed 568 students Tuesday, up from last fall’s 535, with 293 in grades K-6, up by 20, and 275 in the junior and senior high grades, up by 13 students.

Enrollment, by grade, is 44 kindergartners, 49 first graders, 41 in each of second through fourth grades, 34 in fifth grade and 43 in sixth.

Thirty-nine seventh graders arrived, 48 eighth graders, 45 ninth graders, 49 sophomores, 46 juniors and 48 seniors.

Staff reports “a few computer glitches” with the iPads distributed to grade school and middle school students, but they have been worked out.

An iPad informational meeting for parents has been scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 17 in the media center.

Menahga reported an increase in enrollment in both the elementary and high school.

Overall, first day enrollment for K-12 was 943 students, which is a significant increase from 876 students on the first day in 2012. In 2011, 818 students were recorded on the first day of school.

Student numbers by grade, with last year’s enrollment in parenthesis are kindergarten 97 (86), first grade 93 (70), second grade 74 (81), third grade 88 (91), fourth grade 96 (81), fifth grade 81 (63) and sixth grade 64 (71). The total number of students in the elementary school is 593.

At the high school, 73 (58) entered seventh grade, 63 (64) are eighth graders, 59 (60) are freshmen, 61 (51) are sophomores, 46 (53) are juniors and 48 (47) are seniors. The total number of students at the high school is 350.

The increasing enrollment in Menahga prompted a school addition with four classrooms to accommodate additional students.

Students who are residents in the Menahga School District are allowed to be enrolled at the school despite a cap on the number of students in each grade. Also, students who have already been enrolled will continue to be allowed to be a student at Menahga.