Oysterponds enrollment more than expected, but still a decline

KATHARINE SCHROEDER FILE PHOTO | Oysterponds school officials have cancelled Tuesday's runoff election.
KATHARINE SCHROEDER FILE PHOTO | The Oysterponds School District enrollment stands at 70 students for this upcoming year.

The Oysterponds school district is anticipating a 12 percent increase in enrollment over what was originally projected at the elementary school for the 2013-14 school year, but the new number still represents a decline over this past year.

During Tuesday night’s regular meeting, Superintendent Richard Malone said the district initially anticipated educating 66 elementary school students in the coming year, down from 81 in 2012-13. Enrollment currently stands at 70 students, and one second-grade student, one fourth-grade student and three pre-kindergarten students are now also expected to enroll before school starts next month.

“I am hoping that by the opening of school on Sept. 4 we shall be at 75 [students],” Mr. Malone said.

The increase comes after the district’s decision to restructure classes for this coming school year, combining grades to save funds — in part because of concern over dwindling class sizes.

A report generated by the district last year projected student enrollment would decrease by 29 students between the 2013-14 and 2017-18 school years, from 162 students to 133. Those numbers include secondary students who will be educated at Greenport Junior-Senior High School.

While 2010 census data shows a total district population of 1,669 — an increase of 204 since 2000 — school district numbers show student enrollment has decreased by nearly 12 percent in the past three school years.

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