Purchase photos

Hays school enrollment in full swing

8/3/2014

By JUDY SHERARD

By JUDY SHERARD

jsherard@dailynews.net

With enrollment for Hays USD 489 students kicking off Friday in the elementary schools, the first day of school isn't far behind.

Courtney Adam, a fifth-grader at Roosevelt Elementary School, is ready.

"She's bored already," her grandma, Kathy Johnson, said.

Johnson has mixed feelings about school starting, knowing she'll miss Courtney.

Jada Thomas, also a fifth-grader, is excited about going back to school.

"I love them all," she said of her classes.

"She doesn't like summer break," her mother, Joy Thomas, said.

"We have a steady stream of parents coming in enrolling kids," Roosevelt Principal Lee Keffer said mid-morning Friday. "We're getting ready for school."

Shanna Dinkel, curriculum director, said in an email Friday the IT department reported "nearly 600 students had been successfully registered as of noon."

There were some process issues with enrolling kindergarten students, but none of the problems directly were related to the infrastructure system, she said.

Browser caching issues caused a server error, which had to do with the single sign-on feature of the new program, not infrastructure.

"Our IT team will be assessing the online process throughout the entire enrollment period and will make any necessary adjustments," she said.

Central office administrators estimate total full-time equivalent enrollment at 2,829, or 68 more than last year, Superintendent Dean Katt said earlier this month.

District administrators project there will be approximately 1,458 elementary students. Early estimates based on last year's headcounts are Lincoln Elementary School, 200 students compared to 211 last year; O'Loughlin, 364 students compared to 361 last year; Roosevelt, 384 students compared to 372 last year; Washington, 129 students compared to 119 last year; and Wilson, 391 students compared to 399 last year.

Projections are based on last year's class sizes, and the numbers might fluctuate once official enrollment numbers are tallied on the 20th day.

Hays Middle School and Hays High School projections weren't available, said Elizabeth Jaeger, USD 489 information officer. Last year's numbers were 753 students at Hays High and 584 students at Hays Middle School.

Last year's totals were compiled after Sept. 20, according to Jaeger.

Students enroll at Hays Middle School from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday.Online enrollment for Hays Middle School began Friday.

Hays High School enrollment for seniors is 8 a.m. to noon and juniors noon to 4 p.m. Wednesday. Sophomores enroll from 8 a.m. to noon Thursday and freshmen from noon to 4 p.m.

It will cost families more to send their children to USD 489 this year.

The board of education implemented a kindergarten fee of $150. Families who qualify for reduced lunches will pay $75. Families qualifying for free lunches pay no fee.

Workbook/material fees were raised from $100 to $160 for all students.

Activity fees were raised by $50. Hays Middle School students fees will change from $12 to $62, and Hays High School fees from $16 to $66.

Those enrolling at Roosevelt took the fee increase in stride.

Johnson said she didn't like the added expense, but there wasn't much she could do about it.

Leigh Ann Edmonds, who was enrolling her son Jett and daughter Georgia, said she didn't mind the additional cost.

"Education is a good investment," Edmonds said.

The board also changed the district's transportation plan, and no longer will transport students who live within a 2.5-mile radius of the student's attendance center.

The mileage reimbursement rate also will decrease from 56 cents per mile to 17.5 cents per mile.