9/4/2013 8:36:00 AM Windom Schools see enrollment jump to start school year
When superintendents are asked about enrollments in Southwest Minnesota, the conversation is usually anything but upbeat.
But not at Windom Area Schools.
Windom's first day enrollment for the 2013-14 school year was at 985 students - 37 more than last August's Day 1 enrollment. It represents the second largest spike in enrollment over the last five years. The largest jump came in 2010-11 when the district saw an increase of 59 students in one year. Of those students, 30 were unexpected and 30 left the district the following fall.
While it remains to be seen if the same thing happens next fall, Superintendent Wayne Wormstadt said there are a couple of reasons for this year's increase.
For starters there was a 17 student increase between the class that graduated last spring and this fall's incoming kindergarten class.
"The other student increase is due to a net gain of newly-enrolled and open-enrolled students above students who moved to other communities or open-enrolled," Wormstadt said.
"We have found over the past six years that enrollment numbers are very fluid as families move more during the school year for a variety of reasons."
Wormstadt said that, historically, the district sees a fluctuation of about three to seven students during the school year. However, he doesn't expect to get a firm grasp on enrollment numbers probably until November.
In any case, the enrollment trend in recent years is a positive one. In fact, Wormstadt said that when students returned from the Labor Day weekend, enrollment had again spiked - now to 998.
With a 2014 graduating class of 57 and an anticipated kindergarten class of 75 in the fall of 2014, the district will see an enrollment over 1,000 students on the first day of school for the first time in a decade.
For more on this story, see the Sept. 4 issue of the Cottonwood County Citizen on newsstands today.