Moorhead Area Public Schools adds 286 students for opening day enrollment
September 4, 2018
Moorhead Area Public Schools had 6,987 students in grades K-12 report for school Sept. 4, which continues the recent trend of high enrollment, said Superintendent Brandon Lunak.
This is 286 students more than last year’s opening enrollment. The number of students in the district will fluctuate over the next few weeks before stabilizing in October and November, according to historical trends.
Over the past five years the district has added more than 1,000 students. The most significant increase is in the elementary enrollment. Last year Dorothy Dodds Elementary School for grades K-4 and Horizon Middle School West Campus for grades 5-6 opened.
“Of significance this year is that one year after two new schools opened our K-4 elementary schools have reached one section short of section capacity,” Luank said. “We have additional capacity for elementary students within the classroom sections at each of the four schools, but we have nearly reached our capacity for adding classroom sections. This means conversations will be underway to discuss options for the future.”
Grade 3 is the largest grade level with 620 students. Grade 4 is the second largest grade level with 571 students, and kindergarten is a close third with 567 students. At 478 students, grade 11 is the smallest grade level in the district.
“With our continued growth, it is important to look to the future,” Lunak said. “Our High School Facilities Task Force will begin meeting this month to address facility needs for grades 9-12 as our district moves forward.”
Enrollment at each of the four K-4 elementary schools is below 730 students this year. Prior to the opening of Dorothy Dodds Elementary, the three grades 1-5 schools had more than 900 students each.
Horizon Middle School West Campus for grades 5-6 opened for its second year with 1,119 students up 53 students from last year’s opening day. Horizon Middle School East Campus for grades 7-8 opened with 1,019 students up 34 students from last year.
Moorhead High School’s opening day enrollment is 1,930, which is up 136 students from last year’s opening enrollment. A larger grade 9 class entered Moorhead High this year, following the graduation of a smaller grade 12 class last spring.
In 2006 the district saw the reversal of an 11-year trend of enrollment decline. This was followed by four years of increases in enrollment after efforts by the district to build and remodel schools and enhance the quality of education. The district’s enrollment was projected to stabilize in 2010 with slight increases over the next few years. The district has been experiencing about 4 percent enrollment growth the past four years.