Enrollment projections are close so farEnrollment in Farmington schools is right about where administrators expect it to be less than a month before the start of the new school year. According to estimates presented at a Monday night school board workshop, there are 6,666 students enrolled at district schools, down 22 from the 6,688 projected.
By: Nathan Hansen, The Farmington Independent
Enrollment in Farmington schools is right about where administrators expect it to be less than a month before the start of the new school year.
According to estimates presented at a Monday night school board workshop, there are 6,666 students enrolled at district schools, down 22 from the 6,688 projected.
The current enrollment is up 153 from the number enrolled on the last day of school in June.
“That’s a very good trend for the school district and we expect it to continue for some time,” superintendent Jay Haugen said Monday.
Haugen told board members administrators made an effort to get as close as possible with estimates this year after conservative estimates last year left some schools scrambling to add sections and find teachers to teach them. Accurately predicting enrollment is important for school districts because they receive state funding based in large part on the number of students that are enrolled.
“It’s good to see it’s .3 percent off. That’s a very good guess,” Haugen said.
District projections were farthest off at Meadowview Elementary School, where there are 52 fewer students than expected. There were 21 fewer students than expected at Farmington Elementary School.
Those numbers are offset somewhat, though, by higher than expected enrollment at Farmington High School, which at 1,884 currently has 36 more students than expected. State funding formulas pay districts more for secondary students than they do for elementary students.
First grade has the highest enrollment in the district with 572 students. Fourth grade is second with 569 and fifth grade is third with 550. This year’s senior class is the smallest group in the district with 436 students, and the junior class is second smallest with 455 students, another sign the district is growing.
That growth is creating some areas of concern when it comes to class sizes. At Akin Road Elementary School, there are currently three fifth grade classes with 31 students. District policy calls for the consideration of additional teachers or other resources if class sizes are over 30.
North Trail Elementary has three second grade classes of 28 students and one with 27 students. District policy calls for the consideration of an additional teacher when class sizes are larger than 25.
The district has placed an emphasis on keeping class sizes low at early grade levels to ensure students get a good educational start, but that didn’t sit well with board member Julie Singewald, who asked for more focus on reducing class sizes at the secondary level.
“I just don’t want it to be so focused on K-2,” she said.
A district survey also presented Monday identified secondary class sizes as a concern among residents, 37 percent of whom identified high school class sizes in a negative light.
Overall, though, Haugen was happy with class sizes.
“It’s kind of a luxury that we really are looking at only four grade levels that the grades have one student more than the top level where policy says you do something,” he said. “These are class sizes that are pretty enviable for a lot of communities in the metro area.”