More Kids Attending Payson Schools

Julia Randall Elementary shows biggest increase

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For the first time since 2005, enrollment at Payson schools is on the uptrend.

Enrollment is up by 136 students this year, but still down from two years ago, according to Payson school district numbers.

If numbers stay the same on the 100th day of a school year, it could mean more funding for the district in 2008.

All schools in Arizona are required to submit enrollment numbers to the state department of education on the 40th and 100th days of school.

With those numbers, the district could be eligible for an additional $600,000 for the 2008-2009 school year.

During the last few years, enrollment in the district has fluctuated, but remained relatively level.

For the first time in three years, enrollment is up across the board.

Payson High School Principal Roy Sandoval said the district loses or gains approximately $5,000 per student in state funding for every decrease or increase in enrollment numbers.

A representative with the Arizona Department of Education said 100th day enrollment enrollment numbers determines how much state funding a district is eligible for the school next year.

Julia Randall Elementary School was one of the lucky ones that enjoyed an increase in student enrollment in the last three years.

The school has gained 69 students in the last three years ---from 405 students in 2005-2006 to 474 this year.

Rim Country Middle School suffered declines in enrollment from 657 students in 2005, to 632 this year.

Frontier Elementary School also experienced a loss in enrollment since 2005.

Frontier Elementary had 422 students in 2005 and has 372 this year.

Payson Elementary School declined from 378 in 2005, to 373 this year -- a loss of five students in two years.

Official figures show an overall increase in Payson's elementary schools from 1,205 students in 2005, to 1,219 in 2007.

Enrollment at Payson High School declined from 914 on Sept. 22, 2005 to 722 on Sept. 20, 2006, but then rose to 844 in this year, an increase of 122 students since last year.

Sandoval said he is optimistic that the rise in enrollment in the district and at the high school in the last two years might mean higher enrollment in Payson schools in coming years.

"If the students who account for the rise in enrollment in the elementary schools stay in the district through high school, it might indicate a trend," Sandoval said.

"I would like to think we are on the rise in enrollment in our schools," Sandoval said. "There is a significant retirement community here now and they are typically second-home families whose kids aren't in school anymore," Sandoval said.

"I am optimistic that the numbers might point to increasing enrollment in our schools."

Enrollment in the Pine-Strawberry School District has also risen. enrollment was 100 students at Pine Elementary in 2005, 136 in 2006 and 133 this year, an increase of 33 students since 2005.

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