Local schools' enrollments rise, fall

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Cassville student count increases more than other districts

Area school administrators closely monitored enrollment as K--12 students returned from their summer break.

The Cassville School District had 1,861 students on Friday, an increase of 40 students over the previous year. Cassville High School had 597 students, Cassville Middle School had 427 students, Cassville Intermediate had 392 students and Eunice Thomas Elementary had 445 students.

Each building total had double digit increases over the previous year except for the intermediate school, which decreased by five students.

The two largest increases by grade were second and sixth. The biggest two decreases by grade were first and fifth.

First and second grades, which are at Eunice Thomas Elementary, went in opposite directions. First grade had 138 students, a decrease of 18 since the same time last year. Second grade had 158 students, an increase of 30 students.

Fifth grade had 130 students, a decrease of 20 students over the previous year. Sixth grade had 150 students, an increase of 23 students.

The Exeter School District had 329 students, an increase of two students over last year and a decrease of 12 students from the 2012--13 school year.

The Purdy School District saw a healthy boost of 20 more students on the first day, raising the total to 680, the highest number since 2008. For six years prior to that, Purdy mustered first day totals of more than 700. The high school will feel the increase most notably with a rise of 18 students. The class entering the seventh grade has been the smallest group since 2010, now numbering 39. The freshman class has the largest tally with 61. The elementary school saw numbers rise by 13.

The Southwest School Disctrict had 769 students as of Thursday. The district covers Washburn, Seligman and portions of McDonald County.

"That's down from what we have been in recent years," said Bob Walker Southwest Superintendent.

The peak year was 2012--13 over the last five years, Walker said. That year saw 853 students in September 2012 and 839 students in January.

"Obviously that will eventually impact funding," he said. "We were funded this year on our enrollment two years ago. It's your highest over two years. We will live on that for at least another year.

"But during the course of this year, we will probably really need to monitor our revenue, the projections."

The Wheaton School District had 387 students as of Friday, an increase of 18 students since May, a decrease of one student over the previous year and a decrease of nine students over the same period two years ago.

"We typically see enrollment numbers increase from the ending of school and then level back off to previous year's numbers after the first couple of months of school," said Wheaton Superintendent Lance Massey by email Monday. "Our preschool is full with 20 students in the morning session and 20 in the afternoon session."

The senior class has 22 students, compared to the 36 that graduated last year, Massey said. The kindergarten has 40 students, compared to only 19 that finished last year. The elementary sizes range from 17--27 students per class.

"We have watched typically declining enrollments for the past several years," he said. "We really aren't expecting anything different for this year or next, unless we see a significant increase in the economy or a different job market come to the area."

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