Enrollment up at Falls Elementary

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September count shows 30 more students in district

A surge at Oconto Falls Elementary School drove up enrollment numbers in the Oconto Falls School District for the 2016-17 school year.

According to figures presented to the School Board on Monday, enrollment at OFES is up from 549 students in September 2015 to 577 as of Sept. 16, the third Friday of the month when the official census is taken at public schools statewide. The increase of 28 students at OFES contributed to the overall growth in the school district, with 1,748 students enrolled in 2016, 30 more than 2015.

A preliminary enrollment count taken Sept. 7 indicated OFES grew by nearly 50 students from September 2015, but miscommunication led staff members to count a dozen early childhood students twice, artificially inflating the numbers, Superintendent Dean Hess said.

Transient families moving out of the district also caused student numbers to fall from Sept. 7-16.

The School Board last month discussed how to balance numbers at its two elementary schools. While OFES is overcrowded, classrooms sit empty at Abrams Elementary, where the student count is 256, 10 fewer than 2015.

Enrollment at the middle school (368) and high school (506) remained steady year-to-year.