Enrollment in District 196 continues to rise steadily, primarily among the district's youngest students.
As of Monday, Oct. 3, District 196's overall enrollment was 28,182 students, 391 more students than reported in 2015.
Student Information Supervisor Kim Ries told the District 196 School Board on Monday, Oct. 10, that the 1.4 percent enrollment increase is "nothing dramatic" and a figure the district anticipated.
This is the fourth year the district has grown, although enrollment is still around 390 students fewer than the peak of 28,572 students in the 2003-2004 school year.
District growth was primarily in kindergarten through eighth grades, where the district added about 470 students. The district lost a some high school and special education students, Reis said.
The district predicted about 27,879 students, about 300 fewer students than actually enrolled. About half of the discrepancy came in projecting the number of new kindergarten students.
"Once they're in school you can kind of flow them through and know where you expect them to go, but figuring out how many kindergarteners we have coming in is the most difficult grade," Reis said.
In Rosemount, the district saw additional students at two elementary schools — Rosemount added 41 and Parkview added 53 — as well as higher enrollment at both Rosemount Middle School and Rosemount High School. Shannon Park Elementary lost 12 students, and Red Pine Elementary enrolled 26 fewer students.
Students of color account for about 34.2 percent of overall enrollment, a slight increase over 2015. Diversity is higher among elementary school and middle school students than high school students, said Reis. There are also a higher number of English Language Learners among younger students.
The number of students who receive free or reduced-price meals is around 24.8 percent, a number that remained steady for 2015 but has been on the rise, more than doubling in the last 10 years.
"Times have been tough, and we've been serving students with needs," said Reis.
Enrollment for the year isn't officially reported until early October because Oct. 1 is the date the state of Minnesota uses to determine funding, and the date the district uses to make final staffing and budget allocation decisions, explained Reis.
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