Highland schools have fewer kids this year than last year, but still slightly more than two years ago.
Schools use the enrollment on the sixth day of classes to determine their official numbers for the year, which are used for a number of purposes including state funding. Highland’s enrollment for 2019-20 is 2,869 students, which is 12 fewer than last year overall.
Highland High School has 887 students this year, down from 928 two years ago. The biggest drop was at the middle school — there are 40 fewer students than last year.
The drop in enrollment isn’t always negative. Superintendent Mike Sutton said this year there is no class in kindergarten through fifth grade with 25 students in a classroom. There are a few classes with 24 students, but none at the limit.
“That was a goal we set out a few years ago, to reduce class sizes in the district,” Sutton said.
In addition, the kindergarten class was fairly large — big enough Sutton considered adding another section, but, unfortunately, there was no classroom space for them. Still, they remained at 24 students in a class.
The totals also include 82 prekindergarten students and 25 in the special education ECH program. The prekindergarten students do not count for the state’s per-student funding, but the ECH students do.
Most of Highland District 5’s students are within Highland itself, but the students in other towns are concentrated at Alhambra Primary for prekindergarten through third grade, and Grantfork Upper Elementary for grades four-five. These two schools combined have fewer than 250 students.
The graduating class of Highland High for 2020 will include 202 students.
Sutton presented the numbers to the Highland School Board on Aug. 26. The board also is reviewing a new comprehensive plan for the district and the budget for next year, which is posted on the district website. It will be evaluated for a vote in September.