The Park Rapids School District saw a 3 percent decrease in K-12 student enrollment compared to last year, as of Sept. 10, the first day regular classes were held at all grade levels.

Enrollment in both the Menahga and Nevis districts were down from last year’s numbers, while the Laporte school’s first-day enrollment went up.

Enrollment typically fluctuates throughout the school year.

Park Rapids Area Schools

Total K-12 enrollment at Park Rapids Area Schools is 1,573 – 46 less than the 1,615 students enrolled in fall 2019.

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Century Elementary School started the 2020-21 school year with 600 students, a decrease of 26 from last year’s 626. As of Sept. 10, there are 120 kindergartners, 125 first graders, 118 second graders, 117 third graders and 120 fourth graders.

Century Middle School’s student body totals 505, a decrease of 14 compared to last year’s first-day enrollment of 519 students. The classes are as follows: 116 fifth graders, 127 sixth graders, 115 seventh graders and 147 eighth graders.

Park Rapids Area High School had 468 students enrolled in grades 9-12, with 123 freshmen, 150 sophomores, 111 juniors and 84 seniors. This total was two less than the 470 high school students enrolled a year ago.

Preschool enrollment included 75 4-year-olds and 23 3-year-olds. With 18 students enrolled in the high school Alternative Learning Center, total district enrollment was 1,689.

Menahga School District

Menahga’s enrollment was down 164 compared to 2019-20. As of opening day, the total student body is 887 compared to 1,051 last year.

Menahga Elementary School (K-4) began the 2020-21 school year with 287 students, down from 389 last year. The breakdown is as follows: kindergarten (53), first grade (55), second grade (51), third grade (63) and fourth grade (65).

The middle school, fifth through eighth grade, greeted 309 students on Sept. 8 compared to 352 last year. There are currently 75 fifth graders, 75 sixth graders, 81 seventh graders and 78 eighth graders.

Menahga High School has 291 students this fall, with 69 freshmen, 72 sophomores, 85 juniors and 65 seniors. Last year, the high school housed 310 students total.

Nevis Public Schools

Enrollment is down this year at Nevis Public School by 26 students from the start of school last year.

“The reduction has come primarily from our elementary, where the enrollment dropped from 347 to 322,” superintendent Gregg Parks said. “We had the families of 26 of our students move out of the area, and some of our families have elected to home school their children during the pandemic. The high school remained relatively stable, with 275 students 7-12 as compared to 276 one year ago.

“Currently, we have 136 students electing to learn online using our distance learning model,” Parks said. There are 73 high school students distance learning and 63 elementary students.

“It is too early to declare success, but we feel like the lessons learned by our staff and students last spring have provided us with a better system to engage our distance learning students,” Parks said. “We are also starting to see parents make inquiries about getting their distance learning students back in the building.”

Laporte School

The Laporte School had a total enrollment of 345 on the first day of school, up 11 from last year’s first-day enrollment of 334, including 165 elementary students (pre-K-grade 5), 92 middle schoolers (grades 6-8) and 88 high school students (grades 9-12).

These numbers further break down to 33 kindergartners, 28 first graders, 29 second graders, 31 third graders, 21 fourth graders, 23 fifth graders, 27 sixth graders, 35 seventh graders, 30 eighth graders, 23 freshmen, 22 sophomores, 18 juniors and 25 seniors.