The anticipated 40th day of instruction attendance numbers brought good news to the Payson Unified School District (PUSD) — the district had the first increase in enrollment in four years.
“We’re up 27 and a half students in various grade levels,” said District Business Manager Kathie Manning.
Even that small increase in enrollment will bring in an extra $117,000, Manning told the board.
Last year, the district lost 94 students by the 40th day of instruction. Prior to that, PUSD lost 60 to 80 students since the dismal crash year of 2008.
Earlier in the year, Director of Technology Joni de Szendeffy said she had received many requests to process transcripts for students either returning to the district or newly enrolled.
Reinstating all-day kindergarten also increased enrollment.
Superintendent Ron Hitchcock said that kindergarten enrollment increased from 140 students last year, to 190 students this year.
First grade saw an increase of 60 students from last year to this, he said.
The increase in enrollment in the primary grades has cramped the space at Payson Elementary School, two years after the district shut down one of its three elementary schools.
The board is considering moving second grade students to Julia Randall Elementary next year, and fifth grade students to Rim Country Middle School. The middle school would then house fifth through eighth grade students.
Manning said despite the small increase for the 40th day figures, she’s projecting a decline of nine students by the time the 100th day rolls come out — based on the patterns of past years.
“If trends follow last year, we lost nine students, that would affect us in the budget up to $75,000,” she told the board.