contrast to last year, the first-day enrollment figures for the Duneland
Schools showed an increase of 71 students, with noticeable gains in full-day
kindergarten and fifth and sixth grades.
The count of
Duneland School students on Wednesday was 5,934 students, compared to 5,863
on the first day of school last year.
Superintendent Dirk Baer said he was actually anticipating a slightly larger
increase, but that 71 new students is nonetheless significant. “It’s a good
number,” he said.
Duneland’s first day of school showed a drop of 125 students, which Baer
attributed to the opening of the Discovery Charter School. This year, Baer
said Duneland didn’t expect to lose any additional students to the charter
school; over the course of the school year, about 10 or so Duneland students
who left for the charter school returned back to Duneland, he said.
Duneland didn’t expect to see a big impact from the state’s new voucher
program, which provides state funding for families to send their children to
the 71 student increase to a natural growth in the school system, now that
the charter school has been established.
One of the
grades that saw an increase is full-day kindergarten, which jumped 57
students. Baer said many families are opting for full-day kindergarten and
likely realizing that even though there is a charge, “it still ends up being
a good deal dollars and cents wise.”
intermediate level, the fifth and sixth grades combined increased by an
overall 43 students. Baer said he finds that interesting and something to
keep an eye on for subsequent years.
grades, with kindergarten included, overall decreased by 43 students. But
the other levels all increased, with intermediate grades growing by 43, the
middle school by 25, and the high school by 39.
As always, the
numbers are bound to change, particularly after Labor Day, when students may
be returning from vacations or just moving in. The “official” enrollment
count day -- the count that will determine state funding for the schools --
will be held in mid September.
The following is
the grade-by-grade enrollment breakdown, with last year’s first day
enrollment numbers in parenthesis. The figures include all resident special
education students, as well as those who attend Duneland from other school
half-day: 158 (191)
full-day: 216 (159)
First grade: 378
Third grade: 403
Fifth grade: 483
Sixth grade: 476
Ninth grade: 518
Tenth grade: 527
In addition to
the numbers above, Duneland has seven part-day students, the same number as
last year, bringing the overall enrollment this year to 5,934.