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School districts report preliminary enrollment

Teresa Ristow
Mitch Locke escorts his sons Marcus, far left, and Marshal to Strawberry Park Elementary on the first day of school.
John F. Russell

— It’s likely more students than ever before returned to public school classrooms across Routt County last week, according to preliminary enrollment reports from each district.

The Steamboat Springs School District counted 2,537 kindergarten through 12th-grade students Friday morning, which is on par with the number of students the district budgeted for this spring.

“We’re pretty close,” said Superintendent Brad Meeks, adding that the district budgeted for a head count of 2,536 students earlier in the year. “I always want to get through Labor Day, because that seems to be a big move weekend. By then, things really settle down, so we have a really clear picture.”

Last week’s counts are only preliminary, as the state uses Oct. 1, or the closest Monday to that date, to determine how many students to provide funding for.

On Oct. 1, 2015, the Steamboat Springs School District counted 2,515 students.

In South Routt, administration was pleasantly surprised last week to see 32 more students than budgeted to arrive for classes last week.

On the first day of classes Monday, there were 337 students, districtwide, up from an estimated enrollment of 305, as well as last year’s Oct. 1 count of 327.

Included in total enrollment were 18 more high school students than anticipated, five more middle school students and nine more elementary students.

“Our enrollment is good news all the way around,” said Superintendent Darci Mohr.

Mohr said she wasn’t sure what fueled the influx of students, but she pointed to the high cost of living in Steamboat Springs pushing families to South Routt, the district’s new preschool program, its strong agriculture and sports programs and small class sizes.

Mohr said she also has heard families are in support of the district’s new four-day-per-week calendar, implemented this year.

The district has struggled during the past several years with declining enrollment.

“Regardless of the reason, we are thrilled students are coming here,” Mohr said.

On Thursday, the first day of school in the Hayden School District, 370 students in kindergarten through 12th grade showed up for class, though 384 had registered.

The district counted 369 students Oct. 1, 2015 and 385 students Oct. 1, 2014.

The only public school left to open in Routt County is the new Mountain Village Montessori Charter School, which opens Tuesday, Sept. 6.

Preliminary enrollment numbers for the school were not immediately available, but even without the numbers, preliminary enrollments for Routt County’s three school districts add up to more students than ever before attending public school in the county.

Total preliminary enrollment for the county was 3,244 students, up from 3,211 last year and 3,236 in fall 2014.

To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email tristow@SteamboatToday.com or follow her on Twitter @TeresaRistow


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