Kindergarten boom tied to 2013 hospital ‘baby boom’
Five years ago, a baby boom was in the works at Sabetha Community Hospital. By late August 2013, the total number of births had already hit 51 — more than the 12-month total in seven of the 10 previous years.
Add to that the fact that approximately 30 of the 48 babies born in 2012 came in June or later. That accounts for more than 80 births at SCH between June 2012 and August 2013.
So, it should come as no surprise — though it still does, of course — that Sabetha Elementary School Principal Sara Toedman is expecting a kindergarten enrollment of 70, maybe even more. This year’s kindergarten enrollment is 51.
This information was brought to the Prairie Hills USD No. 113 Board of Education at its meeting Monday, April 9, along with a request to add a teacher at SES. School Board members did not hesitate, approving the additional teacher unanimously. Evans said the district would begin advertising the position immediately.
This would increase the number of kindergarten sections from three to four, and in future years teaching staff would be moved to accommodate this class as needed, explained Superintendent Todd Evans.
The number of kindergarten sections has bounced from four to three and back again in recent years, as the district has based the number of sections on class size. For the past two years, three sections have been offered with class sizes of approximately 18. If the kindergarten enrollment for 2018-19 is 70, as predicted, four sections would allow class sizes to stay in that range.
While births at the local hospital can certainly be an indicator of how large a class might be, it does not predict with certainty. The hospital serves a large area in regard to births — including not only Sabetha but also Morrill, Bern, Oneida and Fairview, as well as a smaller percentage from Seneca, Hiawatha and Robinson.
Amber Deters116 Posts
Amber Deters is Co-Editor of The Sabetha Herald, where she has been on staff since 2005. She specializes in school board, election and legislative reporting, as well as photography and page and advertising design. Amber is a 2005 Kansas State University graduate with a degree in journalism and mass communications, print journalism sequence. She lives in Sabetha with her husband and three children.