Little change in Roaring Fork Re-1 enrollment |

Little change in Roaring Fork Re-1 enrollment

Kelley Cox Post IndependentGlenwood Springs Middle School students fill the corridor and can't help but ham it up for the camera during a Thursday afternoon passing period.

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – One of the biggest freshman classes in recent memory has surged Glenwood Springs High School student enrollment to more than 775 students this school year.

Enrollment throughout the Roaring Fork School District Re-1 looks to be holding steady compared to last school year, however.

That’s good news for Re-1, which had been bracing for a possible drop in overall student enrollment due to the economic downturn.

The district saw about 50 students leave Glenwood Springs, Carbondale and Basalt schools during the spring semester. Fewer students this fall would have meant a decrease in state per-pupil funding for the coming year.

Instead, Re-1 enrollment looks to be up slightly compared to last fall, at about 5,230 students districtwide, excluding preschool, according to Re-1 Assistant Superintendent of Business Shannon Pelland.

The official student count will be set Oct. 1 for state funding purposes.

“We’re looking at enrollment staying pretty flat, which is good,” Pelland said. “We had anticipated a decline with the economy as it is. But that doesn’t seem to be happening.”

Enrollment at Glenwood Springs schools is up some, primarily at the high school (GSHS) where there’s a freshman class of 245 students, based on the latest tallies.

“We knew we had a big eighth grade class coming in, and we actually have about 20 more kids than we were anticipating,” Pelland said. “That’s the biggest class we’ve seen [at GSHS] in a long time.”

With a sophomore class of 205 students, plus 175 juniors and 151 seniors, GSHS enrollment now stands at 776, up from a projected enrollment of 756 for the new school year and about 75 students more than last fall.

Based on the projections, GSHS had already made the necessary staff adjustments, she said.

At Glenwood Springs Middle School, with a large outgoing eighth-grade class and a smaller fifth-grade class coming in, enrollment is down slightly at about 514 students based on the latest tallies.

“That’s still a little higher than we anticipated,” Pelland said.

Glenwood Springs Elementary School is up by about 20 students, with a preliminary count of 509. Sopris Elementary School, which closed enrollment to students from outside the attendance area due to overcrowding, is holding steady at 624 students, Pelland said.

Districtwide, kindergarten student enrollment is down some, including a drop at Crystal River Elementary School in Carbondale from 117 kindergarten students last year to 83 so far this year, and at Basalt Elementary School from 150 to 118.

Overall, Crystal River is down about 15 students compared to last year. Carbondale Middle School is down about 20 students, at 310. And Roaring Fork High School is holding about even with last year at 322 students, based on Pelland’s preliminary count.

Basalt schools, meanwhile, are expected to be up slightly this school year. The first-grade class is significantly larger than most other classes, at 163 students, so that will affect Basalt schools for the next 11 years, Pelland said.

The district also closed Basalt Elementary School to students outside the attendance area in an effort to slow growth.

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