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2020-2021 school year to see an increase in student headcount, but a decreased FTE enrollment


September 23, 2020

At the last meeting of the Cashton School Board, held on Wednesday, Sept. 16, principals reported that everyone is happy to be back to school in person.

During the building reports, each principal noted that while the first week back included a lot of teaching and reminders for students, overall masks have not been an issue and most students seem to be adjusting fairly well.

Several reports were presented during the meeting, including the summer school membership report and fall membership report for the upcoming school year.

District administrator Ryan Alderson noted that the summer school membership was down from previous years with a decrease of 13 FTE (full time equivalent) numbers from last year, due to the cancellation of several classes and the majority of offered classes being online due to COVID-19.

Although the summer school membership does affect the membership numbers going into the school year, Alderson reported that the district is still in pretty comfortable shape, and that the affected FTE numbers should bounce back by next year.

According to data as of Sept. 11, the number of actual students in the district for the 2020-2021 school year tops the list of highest headcount numbers since 1984 (which is as far back as reliable data allows for comparisons) at 629, an increase of seven students from enrollment numbers taken in September of last year.

Trends show that enrollment within the district is going up with an increase in students open enrolling into the district and a stable number of students enrolling out.

Enrollment numbers are as accurate as possible with the information available at the time the data is taken and will be updated as changes occur.

During a brief summary of financial and budget information that will be presented in more detail during the annual school board meeting set for Monday, Sept. 28, Alderson also noted that projected estimates show an increase in equalization aid and a decrease of the tax levy. Finalized numbers on those topics, however, are still to come.

Alderson also presented five new requests for open enrollment into the district and one out of the district to the board for approval.

One board member did voice concerns with being able to maintain social distancing with the high number of students already in the district if even more are added, however Alderson stated that since the board chose not to set caps on the number of open enrollment applications earlier in the year (before the COVID-19 pandemic was in effect), the district cannot now legally turn away students wishing to enter the district. The applications were approved.


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