Posted 9/02/09 (Wed)
By Tina Foreman
Farmer Staff Writer
Watford City and Alexander School officials are excited to see enrollment numbers on the rise.
“I am very pleased with this year’s enrollment numbers,” says Steve Holen, McKenzie County Public School District No. 1 superintendent. “I am particularly pleased with our numbers in Kindergarten and the lower grades at the elementary school.”
According to Holen, the district’s two schools enrolled 40 new students this year. Those are new incoming kindergarten students that the district knew about at the end of last year. There are 22 new students at the elementary level and 18 at the high school. The two schools lost 13 students from last year to other school districts.
“We have 40 kindergarten students compared to the 45 students that graduated last spring and 40 seniors this year,” adds Holen. “It is a positive trend to have our elementary school approach the same enrollment as our high school.”
The largest class in the district is the junior class with 59 students and the smallest are the fourth and fifth grade classes with 34 students each.
“Our ability to increase and maintain enrollment has a dramatic affect on our ability to offer diverse curriculum and extra-curricular activities,” comments Holen. “So we not only like to see the increases, we hope to maintain these numbers.”
Alexander Public School also saw increased enrollment on the first day of school, with a total of 73 students including 15 new students. The school saw only two students move to other districts which combined with its new enrollment numbers has Alexander Public School looking at an increase in enrollment instead of the usual decrease.
“We are pleased that our enrollment numbers have switched directions,” says Murray Kline, Alexander Public School superintendent. “The increase allows us to return to a more normal class size.”
Alexander had no graduating seniors last year and this year they have seven incoming kindergartners.
The largest class in the school is the eighth grade class with 10 students and the smallest are the sixth and ninth grade classes with only two students each.
“The increase in enrollment shows that there is an influx of young families coming into the community,” says Holen. “That makes us optimistic about the future of the district.”