Northland Schools Consider Kindergarten Enrollment Numbers
According to the Minnesota Department of Education, COVID-19 has caused a 9% drop in students enrolling in public kindergarten options. How are Northland schools doing with kindergarten enrollment numbers?
NORTHLAND – According to the Minnesota Department of Education, COVID-19 has caused a 9% drop in students enrolling in public kindergarten options. How are Northland schools doing with kindergarten enrollment numbers?
A variety of factors have influenced the kindergarten enrollment numbers, whether it be homeschooling, switching to private schools, or participating in other programming.
At Hermantown schools, the current kindergarten class is full with 140 students in 6 sections but as for next year, 123 students are currently registered.
The superintendent says they plan to have another registration night next month and thinks they can fill the rest of the seats up as he hopes COVID isn’t impacting next year’s registration.
“It’s kind of a unique situation,” said Wayne Whitwam, the superintendent of Hermantown schools. “Like we have not accepted an open enrollment student into kindergarten the last three years. So this is the first year that we actually have openings in kindergarten.”
Over in Proctor, at the start of the school year, there was a dip in kindergarten school enrollment for 24 students. However, projections for next year are looking up, hopefully gaining around 25 students to fill the spots.
“Parents are moving into the region,” said John Engelking, the superintendent of Proctor Schools. “Parents like the Proctor School District. And as we look at enrollment, we see many more younger families moving into our school community.”
At Duluth Public Schools, enrollment for kindergarteners has decreased, which falls in line with the rest of the state. About 9.5% of kindergarten enrollment was not enrolled this year but the district is hoping they can bounce back next school year when the pandemic is behind us.
“I think many families had to make the decision for their family, you know, the pandemic hit everyone pretty hard and so families had to make some tough decisions on what they would like to do for sons and daughters,” said Anthony Bonds, the assistant superintendent of ISD 709.