After an unexpectedly large number of registrations for students at the beginning of the year, the Havre Public Schools districts announced its first official headcount, and the numbers are up from last year in the elementary and high school districts.
Superintendent Andy Carlson presented the figures to the Board of Trustees at Tuesday night’s meeting and spoke briefly about the repercussions of the increases.
“We’re pleased to see where we’re at in the elementary. The high school makes us a little anxious but it’s a little better than we thought, ” Carlson said. “It could be better but, given what we anticipated, we’re in a decent position. ”
The biggest growth was in the kindergarten class, which ended up having 185 students as of the Oct. 3 count.
Another surprise came from Havre High School. Last year’s eighth-grade class had fewer than 120 students in it, but this year’s incoming freshmen class has 154, the biggest class in that school.
Carlson said this morning that those two classes are always the most surprising.
“There are some things you just can’t anticipate and the hardest are kindergarten and freshmen, ” Carlson said. “We don’t always know how many kids from outlying districts are coming in. We pick up home- school students. ”
Now the districts will wait as the state Office of Public Instruction takes a look at the figures and verifies the results. Assuming their figures match up, Havre schools could be looking at a bump in state funding and the ability to make an amended budget to allocate any new funds.
District Clerk Mike Arnold said at last month’s meeting that the schools could receive around $17,000 in additional funding.
The schools’ funding in the future is determined by averaging these numbers with the results of the same count that takes place in February.
Carlson warned that a drop of 30 or 40 students usually occurs between October and February, but said “hopefully we can reverse that trend. ”