Havre Daily News
Enrollment in Havre Public Schools is slightly higher than last year's numbers, which means the schools' budgets will receive a small increase, HPS Superintendent Kirk Miller said.
“The last two years have been level, so that's good news,” Miller said Wednesday.
Prior to that, the schools had experienced a drop of 50 to 70 students each year for eight years, he said. Dips in enrollment led to the closing of Devlin Elementary School and the restructuring of elementary schools by grade level, rather than by neighborhood, in 2001.
Havre schools gained a total of 33 students, Miller said at Tuesday's school board meeting. The average total student count over two semesters for Havre schools jumped from 1,932 in 2005 to 1,965 this school year.
He said the enrollment of students in K-5 is up by 43 students. Middle school enrollment is down 35 students. The total difference in K-8 is a gain of about eight students from the 2005 school year to 2006. The high school's population grew by 26 students.
Miller said the results “give you a view of what is to come.”
The superintendent said the number of staffers will not change, but there might be some reassignment of teachers within the schools to accommodate the varied class sizes.
School officials will analyze the numbers to measure the movements of students both within Havre schools and those leaving the schools.
The increase in funds from the state Legislature's special session in December combined with next year's state funding per student can do “some wonderful things” for the budget, Miller said. He said extra funding will be used to incorporate new programs, which the administration is still researching, into the schools.
School population counts are conducted twice a year, in October and February. The 2005-06 count is used to determine state funding for the next school year.
Schools get more funding for middle and high school students than for elementary students. Miller said the numbers look good for the high school, which has 157 seniors this year and 208 freshmen.
The 2005-06 “average number belonging” count is used to generate the budget for the following year. The the budget for the following year. The ANB is determined using a formula that assigns different dollar amounts to different types of students. For instance, kindergartners are funded at about half the amount of full-time students.
The ANB count has decreased by 16 in the K-8 district and increased in the high school by 20 for a total of four for Havre Public Schools, Miller said.
Schools receive about $4,500 per elementary ANB and about $5,700 per 7-12 ANB.
Miller said a plan for the budget and the possible need for mill levys will be discussed at the school board's next meeting on March 14.