With a certified enrollment of 1399 students for the 2020-21 school year, the West Delaware School District has seen a drop of enrollment of 15 students from a year ago.
Superintendent Dr. Kristen Rickey reported the enrollment numbers to the school board during a meeting, Nov. 9.
The decline continues a downward enrollment trend from 2013, when the district had an enrollment of 1545.
Rickey told the board the enrollment drop follows trends seen at most rural districts in Iowa. “We have had declining enrollments like most rural districts. This is what we anticipated. It’s a bit more of a decline this year than we anticipated. We thought the biggest hit would be after our seniors graduated.”
Rickey reported class sizes in five grades: eighth — 121; ninth — 131; 10th — 120; 11 — 114; and 12 — 129
This year the district has a -76 difference in open enrollment students, up from -62 students a year ago.
Rickey told the board those numbers aren’t always what they appear to be. “If you have a family that open enrolls into West Delaware and they have five students, you see five students open enrolled. But if they later move into the district, you see we lost five students in open-enrollment when we still have those students in the district.”
While admitting improved facilities may not necessarily increase enrollment, Rickey said discussions about improved facilities at West Delaware can send a strong message to families looking for a school district.
“Hopefully improving our facilities will help people to see the value we all place on education in this community. We have two apprenticeships and two pre-apprenticeships at the high school that are federally recognized. We have a lot of award-winning athletics and music. We have a lot happening here. Our facilities don’t necessarily reflect that. I’m hoping that can help a little bit.”