The unofficial student count for Delta County School District 50J showed an overall decrease of 55 students; however, there’s still time for the numbers to be adjusted before the official count is tallied by the Colorado Department of Education in a few weeks.
“I think we’ve all been concerned with North Fork High School. On Oct. 1, there were 299 students, pretty close to where we anticipated them to be. We thought they might be around 308,” said Superintendent Caryn Gibson during the Oct. 19 school board meeting.
According to a district report, traditional school enrollment is up 95 students, BELA Preschool is up by 39 and Vision Charter Academy enrollment is down by 189 students.
Gibson reminded the board that Vision Charter Academy (VCA) went from three learning models (in-class, online and homeschool) to a homeschool model only. She said during the pandemic a number of students from Montrose County attended VCA, once things improved they returned to those schools.
“So, Vision is down quite a few students and when you take that into account, as a district we’re down 75 students,” Gibson told the board. “Luckily we get to do a five year average with CDE so that dip is not going to hurt us as much. We are paid through the state by per pupil funding.”
Gibson later clarified in an email that her meeting report numbers did not include BELA Preschool enrollment numbers, taking the drop in students down to only 55.
“We’ll have to wait until CDE trues up all their numbers and then we’ll know for sure,” she said during the board meeting.
The district will see an 11.5% increase in per pupil funding for the current 21-22 school year at $8,799.83 dollars per student. Last year the district received $7,889.78 per student, according to a report from the Chalkbeat.
Gibson stressed that the Oct. 1 count numbers presented to the board serve more as a “body count” and do not take into account the full-time equivalency for students figured at five hours per student.
“The district is looking at all student schedules to determine the number of hours students attend school and determine full-time or part-time funding for the official count which gives a more accurate number,” Gibson told the DCI.
The 50J student count took place on Oct. 1 with an 11-day count window, which consists of the count day, along with the five days before and after the count takes place. If a student is in attendance on Oct. 1 and is in five classes, they meet full-time status, which provides the district a designated amount of state funding.
If a student is not present on count day, the process becomes slightly more complicated. An absent student must have established attendance during the school year and must resume attendance within 30 days. A student has to have been enrolled in school and attended sometime between the first day of school and Sept. 30, right before the count date. If they miss school on Oct. 1, they must resume attendance within the next 30 days, according to the district’s newsletter.
50J Unofficial Student Numbers Difference from 2020Cedaredge High School — 271 (-6)
Cedaredge Middle School — 192 (-15)
Cedaredge Elementary — 332 (+11)
North Fork Mont. @ Crawford — 130 (+10)
Delta Academy of Applied Learning — 23 (0)
Grand Mesa Choice Academy — 85 (0)
Delta Middle School — 511 (+42)
Delta High School — 622 (-10)
Delta Vision Charter Academy — 398 (-189)
Garnet Mesa Elementary — 490 (0)
Lincoln Elementary — 475 (-2)
Hotchkiss K-8 — 300 (+16)
North Fork High School — 300 (-93)
Paonia K-8 — 253 (+63) Added 7th & 8th grade
North Fork School of Integrated Studies — 118 (+39)
Delta County Online Learning Academy — 40 (+40)
Official pupil count numbers for all school districts will be provided by the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) and should be available by mid-November.