Opening Day Enrollment Numbers Increase For Moorhead Area Public Schools

The Moorhead School District had 5,463 students in grades K-12 report for school this morning. This is 142 more students than were enrolled last spring and 84 students more than last year’s opening enrollment. The number of students in the district will fluctuate over the next few weeks before stabilizing in October and November, according to historical trends.

The most significant increase is in the kindergarten enrollment. The district added an additional kindergarten teacher in late August.

“One of the priorities of last year’s operating levy referendum was to maintain and improve class sizes at the elementary level,” said Dr. Lynne A. Kovash, superintendent. “The addition of new teachers helped to respond to increased enrollment and improve class sizes.”

Fifth grade is the largest grade level with 441 students. Kindergarten is the second largest grade level with 439 students. At 395 students, grade 12 is the smallest grade level in the district.

Enrollment in the district’s Kinder Plus (K+) extended-day kindergarten program offered through Community Education has increased to 233, which is 111 over last year’s opening enrollment, partly due to a significant reduction in the program fees. One of the district’s referendum priorities was to increase access to the program by using referendum funds.

“We are excited to see this increase in enrollment at the elementary level with the secondary enrollment remaining stable,” Kovash said. “This trend will lead toward a healthy enrollment base for the district in future years.”

In 2006 the district saw the reversal of an 11-year trend of enrollment decline. This was followed by four years of increases in enrollment after efforts by the district to modernize and enhance the quality of education. The district’s enrollment was projected to stabilize in 2010 with slight increases over the next few years.