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Enrollment numbers are up in Farmington School District 192

Enrollment in Farmington Schools is ahead of projections and, maybe more significantly, ahead of where it was last year at this time.

As of Aug. 12 the district had 3,396 students enrolled at the elementary level, 20 more than projected; 1,600 enrolled at the middle school level, 44 more than projected; and 1,891 enrolled at Farmington High School, 57 more than projected.

Those numbers will likely change a lot before the first day of school and possibly even more before the district counts its official enrollment on Oct. 1, but they give a snapshot of what is happening with enrollment in the district as the start of a new school year approaches.

Superintendent Jay Haugen was happy with the numbers as he presented them to school board members at a Monday night workshop.

"We really do have a very positive outlook for enrollment, but it's still very fluid," he said.

Haugen said districts typically lose 50 to 100 students from August estimates to October final numbers because families that move out of the district don't always let anyone know they're going. Last year, the district lost 37 students from August to October.

That's why Haugen was encouraged to see how this year's August enrollment compared to numbers from the same month in 2012. Elementary enrollment on Aug. 12 was 31 students ahead of last year, middle school enrollment was 110 students ahead and high school enrollment was 10 students ahead.

"It's a really positive trend," Haugen said. "There's more pressure up than there is down. I think that's a good thing."

The district has especially big numbers in the lower grades. This year's first grade class has 598 student currently enrolled, more than any other grade by 22 students. This year's senior class has 444 students. Haugen expects high school enrollment to top 2,000 soon.

School board members said Monday they would like to know more about why numbers are higher than expected and whether it has to do with the district's iPad initiative and its efforts to customize education for students.

"Are we really making a district of success for students and successfully getting that message out to surrounding districts?" board member Julie Singewald asked.

Nathan Hansen

Nathan Hansen has been a reporter and editor with the Farmington Independent and the Rosemount Town Pages since 1997. He is very tall.

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