The Menahga School Board set caps for open enrollment at 66 students in first and third grade and 75 students in fourth through sixth grade.
They reduced the caps – previously at 88 – at the Aug. 23 special board meeting.
Superintendent Kevin Wellen said the class-size limits are recommended by himself, Menahga Elementary Principal Jeannie Mayer and High School Principal Mark Frank. Due to a teacher shortage, he noted there “really isn’t a pool of candidates to draw from” to add more class sections.
Wellen reported that this year's student enrollment has increased by 149 students, for a total of 992 students in kindergarten through 12th grade. “We’re closing back in on a number that’s a viable number,” he said.
Prior to the pandemic, school enrollment was 1,046, he noted. About 210 students opted to homeschool or learn online when COVID hit.
Enrollment could still fluctuate, Wellen said, depending on how the government and community reacts to COVID this fall.
Wellen said that class sizes are a balance of student maturity levels, finances and the ability of students to self-regulate.
In other business, the board did as follows:
Approved a teacher contract with Bill Hodge, high school science teacher, beginning with the 2021-22 school year, contingent upon licensure and successful background check.
Received notice of coaching assignments: Hannah Bliss and Emily Huotari, junior high volleyball coaches.
Authorized Wellen to solicit sealed bids for the sale of an old school bus.