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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Students numbers are up at area school districts

Friday, August 19, 2011

Smiles were easily found in the cafeteria at Pierce City Central Elementary School on Thursday morning as children got breakfast before beginning their first day of the new school year. [Times Photo by Murray Bishoff] [Order this photo]
Attendance at three out of four public school districts around Monett showed increases in the number of students attending class on the first day this week.

Monett R-1

The student count was up at all five campuses in the Monett R-1 School District on the first day. Numbers were up overall for the fifth consecutive year.

"We were over 2,300 students for the first time," said Superintendent Dr. John Jungmann. "Last year we had a large growth. This year was more typical at 1 to 2 percent."

First day numbers were up by 28 students on the first day, compared to a jump of 56 a year ago.

"The trend remains positive as district enrollment continues to inch upward," Jungmann said. "It was an exciting opening with a lot of new learning for kids and the parents as we put new processes in place. There were a lot of excited faces about the return to school and the excitement of a new building [at Monett Elementary School]."

Monett Elementary School had 550 students, up 26 from a year ago. The kindergarten count, a bellweather for future years, was up by eight at 188 for the third highest tally on record, down from 204 in 2006. The second grade was one of three classes whose count declined by nine or more.

The preschool count, not included in the overall tally, was 103, up 13 from last year's tally.

Central Park Elementary had 372 students, up eight from last year. The Intermediate School had 378 students, up two. Both the fifth and seventh grades had the largest count of the year at 193.

Monett Middle School had 365 students, up eight, with some of the biggest fluctuations in the district. The seventh graders were up by 26 and the eighth graders were down by nine.

The high school had 648 students, up 29 from last year's start. The seniors had the smallest class at 145, a drop of five but up 19 from the first day for last year's juniors. The freshmen saw the biggest jump, up 43 to 187. The juniors were up by 17 at 153.

The count for kindergarten through high school was 2,313, an increase of 28 over a year ago.

Jungmann spent his first hour on Wednesday at Monett Elementary, helping to direct traffic. He said the construction crew had additional work to do installing the bleachers in the gym, which would be finished by the end of the week. A crew was also working on the canopy over the entrance painting and finishing the soffit work.

"I talked to all the administrators and we had a good opening," Jungmann said. "We always have first day bumps that smooth out after the first week or so."

Pierce City R-6

Last year, the count at the Pierce City School District dropped below 200 for the first time since 2000. This week ,the tally bounced up by 14 students, mostly because of increases at the lower grades.

Central Elementary opened the year with 301 students in kindergarten through fifth grade, up 12 from last year. The kindergarten count of 47 was down by five while second grade was up by 15 at 59. The preschool had 55 additional children, up three from a year ago.

The three middle school grades had 168 students, up by three. The seventh grade class is now the biggest in the district with 65, up 14 from last year's seventh graders and seven more than the same class had as sixth graders on the first day.

Pierce City High School started the year with 210 students, down one from last year's start. The freshmen now have the biggest class with 64 and the sophomores have the smallest class in the district at 40.

Dr. Aaron Cornman, the new superintendent, said administrators described the opening as "a very smooth start."

"We're excited to have the kids back," Cornman said. "I talked with the students, and they voiced their pleasure about being back at school. We're hitting the ground running."

Verona R-7

The Verona School District saw an increase of 19 students, up for the second year in a row. The count of 424 is the highest in more than a decade and up 133 students from 10 years ago.

The elementary school had 237 students on the first day, up four from last year. The second and third graders had the largest elementary tally with 38 while the sixth grade had the smallest with 26.

The upper grades had 187 students, up 15 from a year ago. The eighth graders have the biggest class in the district with 48 students. The smallest classes in the district this year are the sophomores with 24 and the juniors with 25.

Purdy R-2

The Purdy School District had 647 students, a drop of 10 students from last year's first day. Declines were shared at each of the three grade groupings.

"We try not to get too excited, or stressed, about the totals until after the Labor Day holiday," said Superintendent Jerry Lingo. "Traditionally, it's usually during that period before we can get a more accurate picture of our enrollment."

The elementary school had 235 students, a drop of two from a year ago. The biggest decline was in the kindergarten class, where 39 students arrived, down 20 from a year ago. The first graders had the second largest tally with 61 students, two more than the same class started with a year ago. The smallest class in the district was the fourth graders with 38.

Fifth through eighth grades at the middle school had 192 students, down five from a year ago. Each of the grades is fairly close in size.

At the high school, the count of 220 was down three from the start of classes a year ago. The seniors have the smallest class with 45 while the sophomores have the largest with 63.

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