A brilliant sunrise, backpacks and buses all converged on St. Michael Elementary this morning as buildings throughout Wright County woke up to a new school year Tuesday, Sept. 2.
For St.Michael-Albertville School District 882, Superintendent James Behle said it was a “good start” this morning, with clean buses running on time and buildings ready for another big year.
St. Michael-Albertville High School will have its largest enrollment yet, with more new freshman than last year’s outgoing graduating class, according to census and enrollment estimates released by the district. According to 2012-2013 enrollment figures, the most recent available, the high school will house nearly 1,700 kids this year, up from a tad over 1,500 just two school years ago.
Kindergarten looks to be holding steady after a big drop last year. The district saw its largest crop of new kindergarten students in 2012-2013 with more than 480 kids. That number dropped steadily each of the last two years, but more than 400 kindergartners will be in the halls of the Albertville Primary School as the district switches to full-day kindergarten for all students this year, in accordance with new, statewide funding for the program. It’s the first year parents won’t have to pay extra for the full slate.
In all, St. Michael-Albertville should welcome more than 5,600 students, which would continue its record pace.
“It’s definitely positive to continue growth or at least maintain that number,” Behle said.
The district continues to operate – at minimum – as one of the lowest-funded in the state in comparison to surrounding school districts, yet outperforms its neighbors in standardized and national test scores, such as the MCAs and the ACT exams.
Monticello School District is prepping for record numbers this year, as well. The Monticello Times reports the district added additional sections of third grade due to shifts in open enrollment, which is seeing the Monticello district welcome students from as far away as Elk River and St. Cloud.
Little Mountain Elementary, which is on the city’s southeast side, is at capacity. More than 20 kindergartners are being bused from LME to Pinewood Elementary, the district’s only other elementary school, which has three open classrooms, the paper reported last Thursday.
Official numbers for all districts should be in by the second board meeting in September.