Wed, April 08

Enrollment numbers fluctuate in Camp Verde, Beaver Creek schools

Ron Maughan, superintendent of Camp Verde School District, said that the net numbers for the district show an increase of 52 students than compared to the total student body in September 2002.

The district numbers show an increase from a total of 1,444 in 2002-03 to 1,496 in 2003-04.

"A lot of students transferred from other schools in the area," Maughan said. "What appears to have been happening in our district is that we had been losing students to charter and private schools in the past. That seems to be reversing."

Student numbers show an increase in class size in most all of the district, kindergarten through middle school.

"They seem to be coming back to Camp Verde School District except at the high school level where we continue to lose students," Maughan said.

According to a 2003-04-enrollment report, high school numbers show a fluctuation from 128 ninth-graders in 2002-03 to 118 in 2003/2004.

The report states that there were also 124 11th-graders in 2002-03 to 107 for this school year, but 106 tenth-graders last year compared to 125 this year.

Camp Verde's elementary school student numbers show an increase from 629 last year to 676 this year. The middle school also shows an increase of 22 students, where there were 352 in 2002-03 and 374 this year.

The kindergarten level at 100 increased from 97 last year and is larger than the graduating senior high class of 2004.

The total number of students in Camp Verde School District for the 2003-04 is 1,496 compared to 1,444 last year.

Maughan said that there is no spacing concern at his district.

"We have ample space to accommodate an increase in the number of students in all of our buildings," Maughan said. "And we are not experiencing overcrowding. The board has authorized two addition teachers, one for the middle school and another at the elementary school level."

Beaver Creek School Superintendent Judy McBride said that student numbers show an increase in her schools as well.

In September 2002, there were 297 students total at Beaver Creek Schools. This year there are 319.

"We are higher than last year and we expect to keep growing," McBride said. "We stared low on July 30th when we had 279 and on Aug. 8, we had 289 now we have a total of 319."

She said that her school's student numbers change often, mostly because of the modified calendar in use at Beaver Creek School.

"One reason we were low is because we started early at the first of the year with a modified calendar," she added. "People moving into the area didn't realize that earlier starting date, but usually look for the third week of August to start school."

Despite the healthy growth numbers of students reported at Beaver Creek School, some overcrowding in at least one grade is causing some distress.

McBride said that there is a concern about overcrowding at the seventh-grade level.

"We have 36 seventh-graders currently and ideally we should have class sizes at about 20 students," she said. "The next area of concern it the fifth grade with 30 students."

She said that the seventh-grade science class is too crowded to attain peak performance and that ideally, classes should be lower then 20 students per class to enjoy a lower student-to-teacher ratio.

"The seventh grade is very crowded," she said. "The upper grades can handle more, but it lessens personal experience that students really benefit from. The closer we can get to the ideal class size, the better, but 36 kids are too much for one classroom."

She said that the Beaver Creek School Board will meet in special session on Sept. 22 to address the crowded seventh grade situation.

"We will propose to the board that we extend the part-time teachers' hours so they can help out during the day," she added. "Extending one in the morning and in the afternoon to help with the student load."

According to McBride, Beaver Creek School has 21 kindergarten students, 36 first-graders in two classes, two second grade classes with 39 students and two third grade classes with 38 students.

She continued that there are 24 fourth-graders, a slightly crowded fifth-grade class with 30 students, 43 sixth-graders in two classes and the overcrowded seventh grade class with 36 students. McBride added that there are two eighth grade classes with 45 students, for a total of 312 students at Beaver Creek School.

"Primary and middle school levels both show an increase in size," she said.

McBride explained that State funding is determined by an average daily membership, (ADM) at the 100th day of the school year and that date isn't until January.

"This is crucial for school funding and is how the state determines the budget," she said.

I'm guessing it will be at 300 and last year it was 281. I think we are about 20 students ahead of last year.

McBride said that Beaver Creek School will keep growing and that poses a challenge to administrators to get a conservative ADM estimate so that the Board feels comfortable that the money will be there after the 100th day.

She added that growth budget will be revised in the spring.

"We want to grow because that generates dollars, but those dollars will have to be used to pay for personnel," she said. "It's a catch-22."

The Beaver Creek School Board will meet on Oct. 20 due to the Fall break of Oct. 6 and week of Oct. 13.

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