The Winlock School District has reported stable enrollment figures for the 2013-2014 school year after having endured an eight percent difference below projections last September.
Superintendent Shannon Criss reported 661 full-time equivalent (FTE) students were tallied on count day Sept. 13, 17 students above original projections of 644 for the year. This was a significant difference over last year when the count came in at 55 students below a projection of 700, causing a difference in funding which led to the elimination of 10 positions within the district including Winlock Miller Elementary School Principal, a role currently fill by Criss.
When asked during the Sept. 18 School Board meeting how her role as both principal and superintendent is working out, Criss told board members the year has started smoothly and well, and reported no complications in assuming both positions.
Members of the board were pleased to hear enrollment had leveled out and said they credit those in the district office with being able to produce accurate budgetary projections, which are based primarily on enrollment at the end of the previous school year.
While the district will continue to receive funding through the end of 2013 according to the estimate of 644 students, the state will begin to fund them according to actual figures starting in January, including additional funds for the previous four months if enrollment actual figures were greater during those times.
Criss noted the original estimate included half-day kindergarten, and said a grant secured over the summer has allowed the district to offer full-day kindergarten, increasing enrollment by roughly 24 FTE as a result.
It was also reported during the board meeting attendance at the APOLO alternative learning program had grown by 12 students since count day, a figure which will be taken into account by the state in January.