CHIPPEWA FALLS — Enrollment in the Chippewa Falls school district appears to be in decline for the second consecutive year, with the district down nearly 100 students.
In a report presented to the school board Tuesday, early enrollment numbers show there will be 5,078 students in the district this year, including 1,510 at the high school.
According to a report submitted to the school board last fall, there were 5,172 students districtwide through Sept. 7, 2017, including 1,526 in the high school. The numbers in October 2016 showed 5,207 students across all grade levels in the district, with 1,531 in the high school.
The largest class in the district will be this year’s seniors, with 410 students. There also are 358 juniors, 364 sophomores and 378 freshmen. Meanwhile, the smallest overall class is this year’s kindergartners, with 313 students across the six elementary schools.
The elementary schools are all showing a significant decrease in enrollment. Parkview Elementary School has the most students with 465, but that is down from 482 a year ago. Hillcrest Elementary School will have 407 students, down from 418, and Halmstad Elementary School will have 376, down from 397. Stillson Elementary School will drop from 388 students to 361, and Southview Elementary School drops from 358 to 335.
In one positive measure, the BB4C preschool program will increase from 332 students last fall to 346 this year — but that is still down from the 376 who were enrolled in 2016. There also are 31 students listed as in early childhood program.
Open enrollment also continues to be a challenge for the district, with 332 students open-enrolling out and 223 students from outside the district opting in.
In other news, business manager Chad Trowbridge gave an update on the designs and blueprints for the new and remodeled schools that were approved in a $65 million referendum.
Trowbridge said they are working to make sure the scopes and designs stay within budget. The district learned earlier this year that construction costs could be up as much as 18 percent.
“These projects will then enter the schematic design phase,” Trowbridge said. “We are expecting those will be done in early January.”
He anticipates a bid opening will be in March, and construction could begin shortly after that.
In one final note, the board honored two former school board members for their service. Staish Buchner didn’t run for re-election, and Pat Allen wasn’t re-elected in April.