Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
WASHINGTON — School officials say they have reason to expect enrollment numbers to climb this year, after enrollment numbers in the Washington school district showed 64 new students, more than it’s seen in several years.
While the trend doesn’t guarantee a rise in total enrollment (counted in October to determine state funding allocations,) Superintendent Willie Stone said he was optimistic.
“We’ll see when registration comes back, we may have lost a few also,” he said. “I can’t say we’re up 64. I hope we are because that would be a great punch in the arm for us, but I do believe that we’ll be up some.”
The tally includes 21 new students at Stewart, 14 at Lincoln, 13 at the middle school and 16 at the high school.
The official count is likely an underestimate, however. Stone said about three more students had reached out and registered in the day between the official count and the school board meeting Wednesday night, with more expected down the line.
Late additional registrations are a good problem to have for the schools, where enrollment numbers dropped drastically in the early years of the COVID-19 pandemic, and grew back slower than expected last school year.
Because of limited data, it’s hard to know a reason numbers would increase this school year. While the influx may be the result of students returning to in-person learning three years after the pandemic’s onset, it could just as easily be the result of unrelated population growth, or less obvious factors.
“That, I don’t know,” Stone said. “We just took a count of how many kids came in that day to get registered.”