OPINION

From the Superintendent’s Desk

Staff Writer
Story City Herald
From the Superintendent’s Desk

—by Matt Patton

On October 1st, all school districts in Iowa calculated their certified enrollment. Because each district’s funding is based on their enrollment, this is an extremely important time of year for us. Calculating the exact certified enrollment is somewhat complicated, but the simplest explanation is that the official enrollment count is the number of students living within the school district boundaries and attending public school on October 1st of each year.

The good news is that in recent years the district has experienced a modest growth in enrollment. In fact, after more than a decade of consistently declining enrollment from 2000 to 2011, Roland-Story has experienced three consecutive years of increases. This year the district’s certified enrollment increase was 19 students. The number of students in our early grades continues to be strong and that is also encouraging. Additionally, the substantial number of students open enrolling into Roland-Story from surrounding districts (112), verses the number open enrolling out (37), is a good indicator that the district is providing a quality product and that we have a good image in the surrounding area.

The current enrollment trend is positive. However, the financial health of our district is dependent on maintaining or growing our student enrollment. For us to preserve the excellent schools we have, and to continue to provide first-class educational opportunities for the students and parents we serve, it is also important that our communities continue to grow. For continued growth we need good jobs, affordable housing, quality amenities, and of course world-class schools. Last month I wrote about the partnerships between the school and the cities that span back over many decades. These partnerships are healthy and a true sign of a cooperative effort. These partnerships are also a sign that we are intertwined, making it virtually impossible for one entity to thrive while the others struggle. Collectively our successes and failures are dependent on how well we work together to ensure the success of all public and private organizations in our communities.

If you have questions or want additional information on our student enrollment please don’t hesitate to contact me at mpatton@roland-story.k12.ia.us or 515-733-4301.