District enrollment increases

For the second year in a row enrollment in the Milaca School District has taken an unexpected jump.

Enrollment is up 40 to 45 over the ending totals last school year, and what was projected for this year, said Superintendent Jerry Hansen last Friday.

And, as was the case last year when the kindergarten enrollment increased markedly over the previous year, there are about 148 pupils, higher than the 130 to 135 expected, Hansen said.

About 12 of those pupils are attending Milaca under open enrollment.

Last year there were 8 kindergarten students attending under open enrollment. Enrollment for the entire district is currently at 1,830, which is 40 students more than projected. The senior class of 136 for last year was replaced with a junior class of 120. Early Childhood Education is about the same as last year with 45 pupils, while the Area Learning Center increased its numbers by 5 for a total of 39 this year.

“What’s encouraging,” Hansen said, “is that only one of those [from last year] went back to their original district. We’ve got an extra half dozen that stayed here for first grade.”

Hansen stressed that he wasn’t seeking more facilities at this point.

“Is it going to hold in the future?” he asked. “It does look like we are having slight growth each year.

“We do need to look at space. Should we consider  leasing space?”

Also, Hansen said, there are more kids coming to the district by open enrollment than there are going out.

“That’s the second year in a row for that and that’s really encouraging,” he said.