Published On: Wed, Aug 27th, 2008

School Enrollment Down Again

HARTINGTON —  A disturbing trend is continuing as area schools got underway last week for a new year.
Most of the schools in Cedar County have seen a drop in enrollment from the previous school year.
Wynot is the only school that has seen an increase in K-12 students – going from 144 students last year to 146 students this school year.
Coleridge Community School has seen a slight increase in enrollment in middle school although there are 17 less students in the total K-12 school enrollment from last year.

Coleridge has dealt with a decrease in numbers the last several years by using new technology and working with other schools in an inter-local agreement.
“We are using distance education classes to keep the school financially stable,” said Principal Craig Frerichs. “We have also allowed kindergarten through third grade classes to go to Laurel for  classes.”
Laurel-Concord, Coleridge, Newcastle and Wynot schools are all involved in an inter-local agreement to share teachers and use distance education to help hold costs down.
Dan Hoesing, who is Superintendent at the four schools, said the decline in the school enrollment may slow down over the next few years.
“The drop in enrollment has been general across the state – although when I look at our census it looks strong,” said Hoesing.
Randolph Assistant Principal Dennis Bazata is also hoping to see enrollment become steady after a few years.
Randolph School has seen a drop from 320 total students last year to 300 students this school year.
Bazata is also looking at having a lower number of students next year.
“This year’s senior class is a bigger class so we will see a drop in enrollment next year but according to our census we will stabilize after that,” said Bazata.
Principal Terry Kathol is happy with the numbers in grades K-6 at Holy Trinity Elementary School even though there are eight less students than last year.
“We have a few less students but we have the same number of parents as last year – that is a good  sign,” said Kathol.
Holy Trinity School in Hartington and Laurel-Concord are the only two schools that provide a pre-school.
Holy Trinity has 39 students enrolled in pre-school this year.
Kathol is very pleased with the number of children who will be taking part in the school’s first year to offer the pre-school program.
“It provides our families with a good way to begin faith formation at an early age and at the same time get a quality education,” said Kathol.

Laurel-Concord has 20 students enrolled in pre-school this year, which is the same number as last school year. The number includes the children who are bused in from the Coleridge School District.

Coleridge School had five students enroll for pre-school last year compared to 10 this school year.
The Coleridge School has seven students that come in from other school districts to take part in the Credit Recovery Program while the Special Education Level III program has six students from other districts.
“These figures are subject to change throughout the school year,” said Coleridge High School secretary Denise Gubbels.
Students in pre-school, Credit Recovery and the Special Education Level III programs at the Coleridge School are not included in the Coleridge enrollment figures.

K-6           7-12
School    07-08    08-09    07-08    08-09
Holy Trinity    153    145          —    —
Cedar Cath    —    —        221    208
Laurel-Con    179    188    181    173
Randolph    140    137    180    163
Hartington    132    125    145    131

K-4    5-8    9-12
Wynot    07-08    48    45    51
Wynot    08-09    44    51    51
Coleridge    07-08    33    34    56
Coleridge    08-09    22    35    49

(above numbers include students who are bused to Laurel for classes)