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PrattTribune - Pratt, KS
  • Enrollment rises at USD 382 and USD 438

  • Growth is a good thing and the enrollment numbers at USD 438 Skyline and USD 382 Pratt are both indicating growth.
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  • Growth is a good thing and the enrollment numbers at USD 438 Skyline and USD 382 Pratt are both indicating growth.
    Unfortunately, those numbers didn't carryover to Pratt Community College.
    By headcount, Skyline has 406 students enrolled for the 2012-2013 school year. Along with 17 students enrolled in the Sawyer Virtual Academy, Skyline has 423 students.
    A year ago, the Skyline student count was 388. So the numbers are up 18 over last year for an increase of about four percent. Most of the increase is in the elementary grades.
    "It's always good for enrollment to be up," Sanders said.
    Several factors have contributed to the increase in enrollment. Some new families have moved into the area, other local parents have decided to send their children to Skyline while no one has moved out of the district, said Skyline Superintendent Mike Sanders.
    Sanders had counted on in increase in the number of students in the district and built a budget based on his budget plus a little extra for an anticipated total of 420.
    Since he over budgeted the year, Sanders will not have to republish is budget.
    However, since he didn't get the number of students he anticipated, he will also get less funding from the state than he anticipated.
    Some of the money has already been spent to repair a portion of the roof and purchase a used school bus.
    "We've really kind of locked in for those expenditures," Sanders said.
    As the school year advances the school will have to keep a close eye on their funding and plan accordingly.
    "We'll get less money towards the end of the fiscal year. We just have to budget for that."
    Pratt is also experiencing growth this year. Most of it is in the K-4 classes at Southwest Elementary School with about 25 more students and most of the rest at the high school. Liberty Middle School enrollment is about the same as last year, said Suzan Patton, USD 382 Superintendent.
    The numbers are still unofficial but the high school has 307, the middle school grades 5-8 have 307 in the classrooms while K-4 has 404. The total headcount for the district is 1,165.
    "We're pleased to have those increases," Patton said.
    Unlike Skyline, Pratt's enrollment estimate for the budget was less than anticipated. It was based on the 2011-2012 enrollment at was in the 1,085 range.
    "We're looking at an increase of 30 to 40 students," Patton said.
    While the school graduated a large class in 2012, large freshman class came in this year. But the enrollment still increased.
    The increases are coming from the same areas as the Skyline increases. New families have moved into the district, some increase has come from the oil field activity, some students have transferred in and some parents have chosen public over private teaching.
    Page 2 of 2 - With the new high school, new football field and the improvements to the other facilities, the district continues to build an inviting educational facility.
    "Obviously, we believe we have a lot to offer those families," Patton said.
    Since the number of students exceeded the budget estimate, the district will probably have to republish their budget in the spring after the official state audit.
    The enrollment numbers are not official yet. The district is still double-checking students that are left in the database and records that have not been requested.
    Once those final numbers are set they are entered into the Kansas Individual Data on Students database for all public schools in Kansas. The state takes a weighted audit of each school and the final enrollment will be set.
    At that time, if the district enrollment is above their budget prediction, they will have to adjust the numbers and publish the budget again," Patton said.
    Making a budget is difficult because the district has to estimate the number of students plus the legislature can change the amount of money available to school districts.
    "School finance is challenging," Patton said.
    Pratt Community College enrollment numbers didn't head in the same direction as the USDs. Total credit hours are down four percent from 15,956 in 2011 to 15, 378 in 2012 on the twentieth day of classes, the official count day.
    The Full Time Equivalent count is also down four percent. The actual head count is almost flat with 1,527 students on campus, just three students lower than last year, said Lisa Perez Miller, vice president of students-enrollment management.
    Initial reports indicate the drop in general enrollment is in on-campus classes and programs. The college is currently assessing what caused the drop and hopes to have that analysis complete within the next 60 days.
    Enrollment activity will continue throughout the semester with late-start, short-term and online courses so the official enrollment numbers will continue to change, Miller said.
    The budget for the college is determined throughout the entire academic year.
    While the decline in enrollment has an impact on the budget it is too early to identify the extent of the impact. The administration will continue to monitor enrollment through the semester and pre-enrollment for spring semester as well as examining the data where the declines occurred, Miller said.
    It will be near the end of the first semester or January before the administration determines the impact on funding and any declines or increases in the budg
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