CKSD enrollment rebounds

"A pattern of increased enrollment during October has proven itself true once again. During the month of September, 104 fewer students were enrolled in the Central Kitsap School District than officials anticipated. By the beginning of this month, 32 more students had enrolled, which means the district will get a little bit more money from the state.“October almost always is our highest month” for students entering into the classroom, Central Kitsap School District Assistant Superintendent Gary Powell said. He said the district generally will gain students throughout the year at the elementary school level, while junior high enrollment stays stagnant. High school student enrollment tends to drop during the end of the year because of students who graduate early, said Powell.Powell said he is uncertain why parents choose to enroll students into the district late, but the pattern has continued year after year.The Central Kitsap School District anticipated 13,036 students for the 1999-2000 school year. As of Oct. 1, the district counts reported 12,963 students With current enrollment, the school district will receive about $313,000 less from the state than anticipated. The state allocates funds to school districts based on the districts’ enrollment.Powell said he is not yet certain what the unexpectedly low enrollment numbers will mean for the budget, but he believes he will not have to make any significant cuts in teaching staffs or programs.“I will not push for a recommendation to cut the budget,” Powell said. “I think we outlined a very good budget this year and I’d like to stay on course.”Powell, who has called this year’s budget his “most conservative,” told school board members Wednesday that the district should not panic. Alternative funding sources might be available. Earlier this week, Powell said the Central Kitsap School District received $658,000 in Department of Defense funding. The money was unexpected, but a pleasant surprise – it was supposed to be paid to the school district last year. Powell said the money was not figured into the budget.“We can use (that money) to cover shortfalls of this year,” Powell said.Enrollment increases were felt in nearly all grade levels in the district, according to head counts taken Oct. 1. Powell said he will narrow down budget proposals during the next two weeks. He said teachers with half-year contracts shouldn’t worry unless the courses they teach are not in line with what curriculum needs.“There may be some that fall into that category” Powell said. “But I figure a minimal amount if any.”"

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