Student enrollment counted

Final tally falls between projections, estimations

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Official enrollment in the Steamboat Springs School Dist--rict is 1,915 full-time funded students, almost 20 more than was expected at the end of last year.

But that final student count, which was taken Friday, is about 12 funded students less than estimated enrollment soon after the school year started.

Dale Mellor, director of finance and operations, said it is typical to lose a dozen funded students during that first month of school.

"It always drops," he said.

The official count usually is taken on Oct. 1, but that date was a Saturday this year, so the count was taken on Sept. 30. The enrollment numbers are submitted to the state and used to determine how much funding each school district receives.

For the South Routt School District, there are 385 funded students, which is close to the number of funded students the district had last school year.

At the North Routt Com--munity Charter School, 31 students are enrolled.

Numbers for Hayden were not available Monday.

Mellor said that because the numbers were just tabulated, he has not had a chance to look at how the recent enrollment figure will affect the Steamboat Springs School District's budget.

Several weeks ago, Mellor calculated a $117,000 deficit for the district assuming there were 31 additional funded students over what was anticipated last school year. Now that there are officially 18.5 funded students over what was anticipated last school year, that deficit likely will increase by almost $80,000.

Enrollment numbers include kindergarten students and other students who might only attend school part time, and so are funded part time.

Enrollment is not the same as attendance -- students who did not come to school on the official count day still are counted, as long as they attended five days before or after that count day.

Soda Creek Elementary School had a net loss of seven students during the past few weeks, Strawberry Park Elementary School gained two students, Steamboat Springs Middle School lost four students, and Steamboat Springs High School gained one student.

At North Routt Community Charter School, 31 students enrolled, but 36 students were expected. Colleen Poole, principal and director of the North Routt Community Charter School, said that students were lost for a variety of reasons, including that their families moved away.

For the South Routt School District, enrollment is similar to that of last year, but higher than what was anticipated.

Superintendent Kelly Reed said the district has lost three to four students for the past four years, and so that loss was expected again this year. But instead, the number stayed the same. Ultimately, the district would like to see an upward trend in enrollment.

"We're just hoping that that will continue," Reed said.

The additional enrollment will help additional expenses, including the huge increase of fuel prices, but it won't cover it, Reed said.

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