Posted 8/25/15 (Tue)
By Kevin Killough
Putting to bed concerns of falling enrollments, Tioga schools are holding steady, while Ray sees an increase over school’s end last year.
As of last week, Tioga had 285 students in K through sixth grade and 197 students at the high school -- a total enrollment of 482 students, compared to 494 at the start of school last year.
Enrollment fluctuates at the start of the year as late enrollments come in, but it appears that Tioga will not be seeing any significant drop in student numbers.
This eases concerns that with the oil industry showing widespread slowdowns as low oil prices take their toll, workers would leave the state and take their kids with them.
“I was afraid we were going to be way down over last year,” said Tioga Schools Superintendent Carolyn Eide.
Last year in Tioga, the schools ended the year with 476 students.
Central Elementary School Principal Tim Schaffer said it’s not all the same kids.
“We are seeing a lot of new faces,” he said.
The schools’ state funding is tied to enrollment figures. With new teachers and a newly expanded elementary school, it was not an ideal time for funding decreases.
“It is good news. I am very happy,” Eide said.
Central Elementary School is entering the year with a whole new wing, including a new gym and cafeteria.
“We had a great first day. It went really well,” Eide said.
All the kids are now under one roof, whereas previously some of the classrooms were in modular units next to the main school building. This created a time-consuming process of bundling kids up and unbundling when they had to move between buildings during the winter.
The modular units will be moved out next month and the space they occupy will become a playground for the kids.
The Tioga High School’s cafeteria is undergoing renovations, which aren’t expected to be complete until next month. For the time being, the high school students are being bused at lunch down to the elementary school to use their lunchroom.
This means about 180 kids bused down and back from the high school daily. Despite the inconvenience, Eide said the schools are making it work with everyone pitching in where they can to help.
“I seriously haven’t heard any complaints,” she said.
Ray School had 307 students enrolled last week, which was up from 272 students at the end of last year. Nesson School District Superintendent Ben Schafer said he is pleased with the outcome.
“I think it’s great. We’re in the business of kids. The more we have, the better,” he said.
However, Ray is still down from top enrollment of 369 last fall.