An influx of about 70 Karen and Karenni students of all ages has pushed enrollment in Delta County Joint School District #50 onto the plus side for 2012-13. Without those students, who recently relocated to Delta with their refugee families, enrollment would be down across the district.
As it is, assistant superintendent Kurt Clay noted, numbers dropped in every community but Delta.
Garnet Mesa and Lincoln elementary schools not only have more students, they have also seen an increase in the number of students who do not speak English as their first language. Clay said the school district has identified a total of 249 elementary students who do not speak English at all or have limited English language skills. For that reason, two additional ELL (English Language Learners) teachers have been hired, one to supplement existing staff at each school.
Enrollment in Cedaredge, Paonia and Hotchkiss is down overall. At first glance, it would appear that many students in Paonia and Hotchkiss transitioned to the North Fork Vision program, but that's not the case, Clay said. Vision's increase of 22 is due in large part to students from neighboring school districts, most of whom were previously homeschooled.
Some Paonia High School students are taking advantage of a new alternative education program which operates under the umbrella of Delta Opportunity School. Clay said the DOS student count of 98 includes about 18 North Fork students who are attending the North Fork Alternative School located on the Paonia campus of Delta-Montrose Technical College.
The enrollment figures are considered unofficial until the statewide student count in early October. Those enrollment numbers are the basis for the state funding which provides nearly 60 percent of the school district's operating revenue.
The district budget was developed using the same enrollment numbers as last year, so if the increase continues to hover around 50 or so students, the school district will receive additional revenue of about $325,000.blog comments powered by Disqus