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Downward trend continues for area school enrollments

Another 20-plus drop in total student enrollment was experienced by the Ellsworth School District this fall.

The local district nearly repeated its enrollment decline from the same time last year, as did most area schools compiling information for an official third-Friday-in-September enrollment report to the state.

The student total for Ellsworth's public schools last month was 1,673, compared to 1,694 in September of 2005. That's a decline of 21, almost echoing the decrease of 22 in a comparison of the falls of 2004 and '05. Grade-by-grade breakdowns for this September from the curriculum and instruction director showed:

Kindergarten, 95; first grade, 122; second, 102; third, 107; fourth, 103; fifth, 125; sixth, 119; seventh, 143; eighth, 150; ninth, 140; 10th, 150; 11th, 145; 12th, 152; and early childhood, 20. There are five special education students.

Comparing last month's numbers to those from the same time a year earlier, increases occurred in: first grade, with 18 more students; third grade, with seven more; fifth grade, with 27 more; eighth grade, with 21 more; 10th grade, with five more; 12th grade, with seven more; and early childhood, with five more.

Decreases in the same comparison were recorded in: kindergarten, with 25 less students; second grade, with four less; fourth grade, with 16 less; sixth grade, with 23 less; seventh grade, with nine less; ninth grade, with 15 less; 11th grade, with four less; and special education, with nine less (now in-district instead of out-of-district).

The breakdowns by building for last month indicated: Hillcrest Elementary, 256; Lindgren Elementary, 108; Prairie View Elementary, 161; Sunnyside Elementary, 97; middle school, 464; and high school, 587.

Compared to September a year ago, Hillcrest now has 38 less students, Lindgren has 21 more, Prairie View has 19 less, Sunnyside has four less, the middle school has 41 more and the high school has eight less.

Enrollment information from other area schools was:

--The Elmwood School District has 368 students this term, compared to 386 last year at this time (18 less).

--The Plum City School District has 363 students this term (with a resident enrollment of 331), compared to 343 last year at this time (20 more).

--St. Francis School in Ellsworth (which isn't required to file a third-Friday-in-September enrollment report with the state) has 142 students this term, compared to 149 last year at this time (seven less).

--The Spring Valley School District has 671 students this term, compared to 712 last year at this time (41 less).