Archive for Thursday, September 21, 2006

Enrollment up 3 percent in district

September 21, 2006, 12:00 a.m.

Updated: September 21, 2006, 11:06 a.m.

Enrollment at most schools in the Lansing school district continues to climb.

In line with officials' predictions, K-12 enrollment has increased by 3 percent again this year across the district.

Lansing Elementary School students enjoy recess Monday. Enrollment at LES is up nearly 7 percent this year with the addition of 39 students over last year's rolls.

Lansing Elementary School students enjoy recess Monday. Enrollment at LES is up nearly 7 percent this year with the addition of 39 students over last year's rolls.

The state's official count day was Sept. 20, and enrollment at the elementary, intermediate, middle and high schools registered at a combined 2,174 students - up from 2,113 a year ago.

The elementary, intermediate and middle schools all saw increases, while Lansing High School saw a slight decrease.

Total district enrollment, which includes preschool and Lansing Educational Achievement Program students, grew by 33 students this year for a total of 2,258.

Enrollment numbers for K-12, preschool and LEAP students comprise the district's full- time equivalency figure.

This year, the district's full-time equivalency is 2,188 students - an increase of 34 over last year.

Lansing schools superintendent Randal Bagby said the figure, which will be audited by the state later in the school year, is important because it's used by the Kansas Legislature to appropriate funding for the district.

At LHS, enrollment decreased by six this year for a total of 714 students. That dip came one year after the school experienced an increase of 35 students.

"In the grand scheme of things - with 700 (students) - you're talking less than 1 percent," Principal Steve Dike said. "We're virtually where we were last year - same type of needs, same type of programs."

He said housing growth, which included the addition of Lansing Heights Townhomes, helped increase enrollment last year.

Judging the size of the current eighth-grade class, Dike predicted LHS could sustain enrollment numbers next year.

Lansing Elementary School experienced the highest increase - nearly 7 percent - with the addition of 39 students.

LES principal Tim Newton said growth and additional housing in Lansing contributed to the boom.

But, he said, some of the increase also could be attributed to "gaining back" an unknown number of students in the district who previously attended out-of-district schools such as Leavenworth and Fort Leavenworth.

Newton said the growth was noticeable.

"We're tight. We don't have any classrooms that are vacant. Every square foot of this building is being used," he said.

At Lansing Middle School, enrollment is up 5 percent.

Principal Kerry Brungardt said he didn't expect enrollment numbers to increase that much in one year, but he called the growth "manageable."

Meanwhile, enrollment at Lansing Intermediate School increased by one student. While some had suggested that the closing of Wallula Christian School's K-5 classes might cause enrollment to jump at the elementary and intermediate schools, LIS principal Jan Jorgensen said the impact was minimal.

Newton estimated between six and eight former Wallula students now attend LES.

Across the district, 106 out-of-district students attend Lansing schools this year, compared with 130 last year.

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