Numbers up at 3 schools, but overall student population down

Scott Swanson

Enrollments are up at three Sweet Home elementary schools while down at two others, the junior and the high school; and districtwide enrollment is down by nine students.

The School District had 2,351 students as of Friday. As of the same week of school last year, the district had 2,360.

Foster grew from 269 students a year ago to 303. Hawthorne grew from 310 to 348, and Holley is at 147, up from 135.

Oak Heights is down by two students to 275, and with the temporary closure of its sixth grade this year and just one fourth-grade class and one fifth-grade, the Sweet Home Charter School is at 154 students, down from 235.

Sweet Home Junior High School enrollment shrank by 27 to 325, while Sweet Home High School enrollment fell by nine students to 721.

The Access College Today program grew from 52 students to 78. The ACT program defers graduation for seniors. The district pays for tuition and books for those students to attend Linn-Benton Community College.

The largest classrooms in the district are at 34 students, including a fifth- and sixth-grade blend at Foster and a sixth-grade class at at Hawthorne. Foster has another fifth-sixth blend at 30 students, a fourth-grade class at 30 and a third-grade class at 31. Hawthorne has a another sixth grade class at 30 and a fourth-grade class at 32.

Holey has a first- and second-grade blend at 31 and a fourth grade at 30.

All other classes are below 30, with numerous classes below 25 across the district.

The largest grade is the 12th with 209 students. The smallest class is the seventh grade with just 146 students. The fifth grade has 149 students. Most grades are in the 170s.

Take the Charter School and ACT students from the district’s numbers, the district is up by 48 students, said Supt. Keith Winslow Monday night during the regular School Board meeting. “That could be a one-year increase because I anticipate the sixth-graders will be back at the Charter School next year.”

Winslow said the district tries to keep class sizes small and blends help smooth out the numbers. Sometimes classes end up large, and the district would prefer not to move students out of a classroom once school starts.

Instead, the district likes to increase assistant time, he said. It usually waits to do so because numbers can fluctuate early in the year, but they seem static this year.

Assistant time will probably increase in large classes next week if possible, Winslow said.

Present at the board meeting were Debra Brown, Angela Clegg, Chanz Keeney, Jason Redick, Chairman Mike Reynolds, Nick Augsburger and Jenny Daniels. Carol Babcock and Jason Van Eck were absent.

District School Numbers

Grade Students

K 172

1 172

2 186

3 179

4 190

5 149

6 178

7 146

8 179

9 173

10 163

11 176

12 209