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Hays USD 489 enrollment boosted by elementary numbers





The Sept. 20 head count numbers are in, and the number of elementary students in Hays USD 489 continues to grow.

This year, there were a total of 2,799 students by actual head count, said Will Roth, superintendent.

In order to get an accurate count, Roth said he asks building principals "for the number of kids in the chairs."

The elementary school head count was 1,428, 587 at Hays Middle School, and 784 at Hays High School.

With 277 students, the kindergarten class is the largest.

"All of the last four years' kindergarten student numbers have been at least 250 or above," Roth said.

The number of kindergartners went from a high of approximately 300 down to 200.

However, the numbers are back on the upswing.

"That's why the elementary schools are bulging at the seams," Roth said.

Hays High classes are considerably smaller than in the late 1990s when the school had approximately 1,100 students. However, Roth said enrollment will start building again as the larger classes move through the system.

"We always have a net gain from (students) outside the district," he said. "We gained more than we lost."

Last year, a total of 2,865 students were enrolled Sept. 20. That's 66 students more than this year.

District administrators projected a loss of 100 students this year after closing Kennedy Middle School, and the opening of Thomas More Prep-Marian Junior High. So the numbers are better than projected, Roth said.

However, the head count isn't the final number for funding.

It's just one of the first indicators of state funding, which is $3,838 base state aid per pupil for the 2012-13 school year.

The final number is the audited number, which includes the weightings for categories such as free lunches, transportation and English Language Learners.

The district will be audited some time between December and April to determine those numbers, the full-time equivalent.

The USD 489 FTE usually is approximately 4,500, Roth said.