The Woodward News

Local News

August 17, 2012

Enrollment increases at area schools

Woodward, Okla. — For most of the area schools, enrollment is up for the 2012-2013 school year.

Vici Public Schools saw one of the largest increases in enrollment.

"At my best guess we are at 342 for this school year and at the end of last year we were at 306," Superintendent Coby Nelson said.

"I'm attributing most of it to the oil field and to the fact that we graduated one of the smallest classes in school history last year," Nelson said.

According to Nelson, Vici graduated only 12 students last year.  However, the younger grades saw some increases in class size, including Pre-Kindergarten, which has an enrollment of 25 students this year.

Another district experiencing over 10 percent in student population growth is Buffalo.

Buffalo Superintendent Martin Adams said "We are at about 302 which is up by about 30 from last year."

He also said that their largest increase in numbers were in the elementary.

When asked what has contributed to this significant growth, Adams said he thinks its part of an area wide increase of overall population growth.  Because of the community's central location between Woodward, Alva and Shattuck, he said Buffalo can be attractive when housing is tight in those other locations.

"I'm guessing the cost of living is higher in Woodward and people like to live in smaller communities," he added.

However, even some of the smaller communities are feeling a housing crunch.

Mooreland Public Schools was up from last year, but still down from 2 years ago, according to Superintendent Terry Kellner.

"Two years ago we were at 530, this year we are at 505," Kellner said.

"We just don't have anyplace for people to live," Kellner said about the small increase in enrollment.

Sharon-Mutual High School Principal Chris Syms said their districtwide enrollment also only saw a small increase, up about 10 students, making for 316 total student population.

While not a large year-to-year increase, he said the growth is just part of a multiple-year trend.

"The elementary has shown a steady increase over the last couple of years with 33 being enrolled in just Pre-K this year," Syms said.

Some of the elementary classes have grown so big that they've had to split them, he said.

These larger classes are now beginning to make their way up into the high school.

"We didn't graduate a very large class last year (but) we've had 22 7th graders make the transition up," Syms said on the increase at the Sharon-Mutual high school.

Ed Thomas, Laverne superintendent, stated that he wasn't sure of the official number but at his last count he had 470 enrolled which was up about 20 from last year.

"Most of it is due to our Hispanic population and higher enrollment numbers from pre-k to 5th grade," Thomas said.

He also said that at the beginning of the year they seem to have higher numbers but after a few weeks those numbers tend to drop off due to having a mobile population, with some families moving to another district during the school year.

Fargo Superintendent Terry Stevens said that student relocation contributed to his district seeing a small decrease in initial enrollment for this next year.

Stevens said they had a total of 213 enrolled for the year, which is down just 7 from last year.

"Most is due to us having graduated 17 and only have 11 in pre-k and a few of our students have moved away," he said.

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