NEWS HEADLINES

School enrollment holds steady

By Erika Pedroza | Published Saturday, August 30, 2014

Wise County had its ups and downs the first few days of school this week, but as a rule most school districts’ enrollment held steady compared to the end of school in May and the first day of school last August.

Alvord ISD principals reported enrollment of 691 as of Thursday, down seven students from last year’s 698. The elementary campus is where the decrease hit, as principal Bridget Williams said her school’s enrollment is 327 – down from 343 at this point last year despite a bigger pre-kindergarten group.

Enrollment at the middle school was 156, while the high school’s enrollment was 208. Both of those numbers were up slightly from first-week numbers last year.

First-day enrollment numbers in Boyd ISD showed a decrease of 40 students.

A total of 1,115 students reported for the first day of classes Aug. 26 – including 377 at the elementary school, 254 at the intermediate, 152 at the junior high and 332 at the high school.

Those numbers are down from the 1,155 students who enrolled on the first day last year.

“That being said, we have had an additional 20 students enroll since the first day of school, so our enrollment as of Friday is 1,135,” Boyd ISD Superintendent Ted West said. “That enrollment number is about where we ended the school year last year.

“I anticipate that we will get a few more students enroll after the Labor Day holiday.”

Bridgeport ISD had 2,048 on the first day, but that had risen to 2,073 by the end of the week. It was 2,098 last year.

The elementary campus had 537 students, with 424 at the intermediate campus, 467 at the middle school and 620 at the high school.

Superintendent Eddie Bland said the numbers were right where they expected them to be.

“We had 2,079 kids on the last day of school last year, so we’re within five-10 students of where we were at last year,” he said. “We tried to conservatively predict how many kids we would have this year, and we’re right on target.”

Chico Superintendent Mike Jones said his district had 585 students enrolled on the first day – up slightly over last year’s first-day enrollment of 576.

He said the numbers were steadily increasing throughout the first week, and that more students are likely to enroll after Labor Day.

Decatur’s first-day enrollment number, 2,935, showed a slight decrease from the 2,952 enrolled at the end of last year – but this year’s first-day enrollment was higher than the 2,921 who enrolled on the first day of the 2013-2014 school year.

Superintendent Rod Townsend said the numbers were increasing throughout the week, and he hoped enrollment should near the expected 3,000 mark by next week.

“Our optimal level would be 3,100, but we’ve budgeted for around 3,000,” he said.

In Northwest ISD, much of the enrollment is outside Wise County as the district extends into Denton and Tarrant counties. But as has been the norm for the past several years, enrollment continued to grow.

Unofficial numbers included 544 at Seven Hills Elementary – actually down 11 from last year’s 555 – and 438 at Prairie View Elementary, up just one student from last year.

The big jumps were at Chisholm Trail Middle School, which has 894 this year compared to 866 last year, and Northwest High School, which welcomed 2,807 students after seeing 2,669 on opening day last year.

The district has a new high school under construction.

Paradise ISD reported 1,096 on its first day of school, up from about 1,085 at the end of the 2013-14 school term.

Paradise Elementary had 325 students, Paradise Intermediate had 148, Paradise Junior High had 258 and Paradise High School boasted 355 students. Superintendent Bob Criswell said the numbers of students registered has increased to 1,115 since Monday.

“We ended the year at 1,085 last year, so we’re up, and that will help us financially and bring more money to the school,” Criswell said. “It’s always been a rule of thumb that you wait until after Labor Day, but I feel that number is where we are going to be.”

Slidell ISD welcomed 248 students Monday morning.

Superintendent Greg Enis said this was an increase of 10 students from the first day last year. The elementary campus, which includes pre-k through fourth grade, had 111 students, and the secondary campus had 137.

“The high school was right at about 67 students,” Enis said, “but we have two of our smaller classes in the freshmen and seniors.”

Enis said the first graders were split into two classes, but they were already making plans to do that at the end of last year due to the size of the kindergarten. He said the class gained three or four students this week.

Enrollment Numbers

WCWC ENROLLMENT CONTINUES TO GROW

Enrollment at Weatherford College Wise County has steadily climbed through the last five years, and that trend continued this year.

As of Friday morning, 590 students were enrolled, although that number won’t be certified by the state until Monday, Sept. 8, and may still fluctuate.

“Our highest semester ever,” said Matt Joiner, associate dean for instructional services.

The number represents a 2 percent increase over last fall. Over the past five fall semesters, enrollment has grown as follows:

  • 2010 – 438
  • 2011 – 462
  • 2012 – 563 (first semester in the new building)
  • 2013 – 579
  • 2014 – 590

“We are overwhelmed by the positive impacts Weatherford College is having on the lives of students and their families in Wise County,” Joiner said. “Working together, the college, county, students, faculty and staff members are saying loud and clear that higher education in Wise County is a priority.

“We couldn’t be more pleased with our enrollment trends and enrollments,” he added. “This is an exciting time at WCWC.”

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