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School enrollment is holding steady

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Fearing the worst, the FY2017 budget for Delta County Joint School District #50 was built around an anticipated drop in enrollment of 100 students.

Early indicators, however, show enrollment is surprisingly steady countywide. The preliminary numbers were obtained from PowerSchool records; the official count won't take place until Oct. 1. Per-pupil funding from the state is based on the official count.

Kurt Clay, assistant superintendent, reports that enrollment at the district's traditional schools is down just five. Cedaredge Elementary School is up 17 students and the community is up 16 overall. In Paonia, enrollment is down by just one. Hotchkiss saw a big drop, primarily because the incoming eighth grade class is much smaller than the Hotchkiss High School class that graduated last May. In Delta, large kindergarten classes at both Lincoln and Garnet Mesa are driving up student numbers. Clay said each kindergarten class has between 20 and 21 students, compared to 25 or so in the upper elementary levels.

Vision Charter Academy anticipates about 420 fulltime students, up from 395 last year. An estimated 250 students attend classes on the Delta campus, where a modular is being moved in to provide additional classrooms.

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