District schools see enrollment increase

Prairie Hills USD No. 113 has a higher headcount than was expected, Superintendent Todd Evans told board members on Monday, Oct. 8, at the regular board meeting. District-wide, based on the official Sept. 20 student count, was 1,127 students — an increase of 35 students over the 2017-18 headcount.

The Sabetha campus saw an overall headcount increase of 28 students — 10 at Sabetha Elementary School, 13 at Sabetha Middle School and five at Sabetha High School.

The Wetmore Academic Center campus saw an overall headcount increase of 12 students — five at Wetmore Elementary School, and seven at Wetmore High School.

The Axtell Public School campus saw an overall headcount decrease of five students. Despite an increase of three students at Axtell Elementary School, there was a decrease of eight students at Axtell High School that brought the total headcount down.

Despite the overall headcount increase, Superintendent Evans said he has two areas of concern with how those figures will turn out once the Kansas State Department of Education completes the weightings for Full Time Equivalency. Weighted FTE — which takes into account a number of factors such as at-risk, special education, transportation and low or high enrollment — is the figure that determines what school districts actually receive for funding.

Superintendent Evans said his concerns center around at-risk weighting — at-risk weighting looks like it will be going down about 16 FTE, and Wetmore’s high density at-risk weighting looks like it will decrease about 5 FTE. These at-risk weighting figures are derived from the number of students who apply for and qualify for free lunches. Evans said he is concerned that some families simply did not apply, or did not apply prior to the Sept. 20 count date.

Saylor asked when the finalized figures from KSDE would be available. Superintendent Evans said he isn’t sure, but he will report back to the board when KSDE finalizes the district’s figures.

See full meeting minutes on Page 6B of this week’s Herald, or here.

Amber Deters124 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.

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