Darling on enrollment: Stability lacking

DAKOTA CITY — Humboldt Community Schools Superintendent Greg Darling told the school board Monday that the high school enrollment had dropped this fall.

“We are not getting the stability that we used to,” he said. “The high school enrollment is down by 18 students. Since the first day of school 23 students have left.”

The number of elementary students is up by 17 and enrollment is up nine at the middle schools.

Society is more mobile today making it difficult for schools to track enrollment, he said.

“All of a sudden we have all these kids and then they are going to different places,” Darling said. “The good thing is we are up 12 students overall. It looks like the projection is going to be up a little bit each year for the next few years.”

“Right now we have some new housing being put up,” Darling said. “We would like to have more put up so we can offer more seats for the students. I think we have room for more kids with the staff we have now.”

Some superintendents rarely look at enrollment numbers because it fluctuates so much throughout the year, he said.

School board member Kyle Kluender asked if the 23 students who left dropped out or moved away.

“The majority of them are moving out of the district, and we do have a few drops” Darling said.

Darling also presented the board with recent test score results.

In the ACT test scores, data for the last five years shows on average about 30 to 40 percent of the students go on to four year universities and colleges. In English over the last four out of five years the district was above the state average. In math, the district was above the state average each year for the past five years. And scores in reading and science were above the state average three out of the last five years.

“The parents, and especially the students who put in the hard work, should be proud of themselves with the scores that they have,” Darling said.