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Enrollment up on first day of classes

Schools in the Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan School District started the new school year last week with more students than they had last September.

According to reports at a Monday night school board meeting district schools had more than 30,000 students on the first day of class last week in elementary, secondary and special education programs.

The 11,812 elementary and early-childhood students who showed up for the first day of class was an increase of 172 from the first day last year. There were 784 kindergarten students in 46 full-day Kindergarten Plus programs. There were an additional 42 half-day kindergarten classes in the district.

Elementary education director Julie Olson said 60 percent of kindergarten students in the district currently attend some kind of full-day program. That number is almost certain to increase next year when the state starts providing funding for full-day kindergarten and the district no longer has to charge for Kindergarten Plus.

"it will likely be the last time our numbers will be even that low," Olson said. "We expect they will be considerably higher."

The district had 242 new students in its magnet schools. All of the magnet programs currently have wait lists.

At the secondary level, there were 6,100 middle school students on the first day of class, about 200 more than the district projected.

Secondary education director Mark Parr called the higher enrollment "a pretty big surprise."

Numbers were up at the high school as well, but not by as much. There were 8,300 students enrolled at the district's high schools last week, 20 to 25 above projections.

All enrollment numbers are likely to change over the next month or so as the district registers new students and identifies students who left the district without telling anyone. Minnesota school districts use their Oct. 1 enrollment as the number on which state funding is based.

There are currently 4,151 students in special education programs from birth to age 21.

Nathan Hansen

Nathan Hansen has been a reporter and editor with the Farmington Independent and the Rosemount Town Pages since 1997. He is very tall.

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