The official student Count Day for Delta County School District 50J and surrounding schools took place on Friday, Oct. 1.
Numbers from the count day have not yet been released by the school district; however, there are always plenty of questions about the count and why it’s so important. Those questions were recently answered in the school district’s September newsletter.
For starters the count day takes place every school year on Oct. 1 unless that day is on a weekend. The state allows for an 11-day count window, which consists of the count day, along with the five days before and after Oct. 1, according to the newsletter article.
In order for a student to be eligible for state funding in a district, they must be enrolled and in attendance as of the count day, either full-time or part-time depending on how many hours are in their class schedule. Typically, a full-time schedule for a high school student translates into five classes.
If a student is in attendance on Oct. 1 and is in five classes, they meet full-time status, which provides their district a designated amount of 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. That means the student has to have been enrolled in school and have 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.
The purpose of the data collection on count day is to obtain required student-level data as provided by state statute, including information regarding students’ funding eligibility as outlined in the Public School Finance Act of 1994, as amended (22-54-101, C.R.S.).
Delta County School District receives money through per-pupil funding. School district’s funding varies across the state with the funding based on the school finance formula which recognizes (a) costs of living, (b) personnel costs, and © size factors.
The Colorado Preschool Program (CPP) is a state-funded early childhood education program administered by the Colorado Department of Education. CPP funding is provided to school districts as part of the K-12 funding. Districts are paid monthly, but the first five months of the school year are based on projected numbers (e.g. the reported pupil count last year).
December is the first month districts receive funding based on actual, current, count data. In other words, if a district receives additional positions before or during the count, the initial funding a school receives for September, October, and November will be based on the allocations from last year.
Beginning in December, the payment will include the new allocations based on what was reported on count day.
The DCI will have a follow-up story on DCSD count day once that information is available.