Mid-Prairie gets boost from open enrollment

Student enrollment in the Mid-Prairie school district is holding steady, according to preliminary numbers presented to the school board Monday.

Superintendent Mark Schneider said that actual enrollment in the district is down one student from last year.

“We basically stayed the same,” Schneider said, adding that of the 30 or so districts in the Grant Wood Area Education Association, about three-quarters of them lost enrollment this year.

He speculated that some of the drops districts have experienced are due to parents not opting for preschool or kindergarten this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our preschool number went down 20 students this year,” he said. “That’s to be expected.”

Certified enrollment this year is 1,276.22, down from 1,276.32 last year, which was the district’s highest ever certified enrollment.

Schneider explained that some students are only counted as fractions of students for certified enrollment purposes.

Open enrollment into the district, as in previous years, was high.

This year, students from 22 other school districts have open enrolled into the Mid-Prairie district, compared to 18 last year.

The highest open enrollment numbers came from the Iowa City school district with 140 students attending Mid-Prairie schools.

That was followed by Highland (62 students), Washington (59), Williamsburg (52) and Keota (52).

“Looking at kindergarten through 12th-grade classrooms, we have 209 students coming to us through open enrollment,” Schneider said. “Last year, it was 204. Altogether, we have 455 students who come to us from different school districts.”

The district’s Home School Assistance Program accounts for 242 open enrolled students, compared to 186 last year.

Conversely, only 36 students from the Mid-Prairie district open enrolled out of the distict.

“There are 11 school districts where we send 36 students to,” Schneider said. “We received 455 and lose 36.”

Schneider said the enrollment numbers are “very good news for the district.”

“It’s a testament to the administrators and the teachers,” he said. “There’s obviously something here that people want.”