Enrollment’s up at Forest Park

CRYSTAL FALLS—At their Aug. 27 regular meeting, members of Forest Park’s School Board heard the best possible news that officials of a small school district could possibly hear:
    Enrollment’s up.
    It’s up quite a bit, in fact, reported Superintendent Becky Waters, who didn’t even try to avoid smiling as she passed along the news from the first day of school.
    “As of right now,” she told the board, “we have 21 brand new elementary students and 21 new middle school and high school students. So that’s 42 new students.”
    On top of that, she said, the district has 42 kindergarten students, who replace the 35 seniors who graduated last spring—a net gain of seven.
    Add them all up, and Forest Park has a 49-student increase in enrollment at this time. “I think Iron County might be growing,” Waters said.
    It was music to everyone’s ears because state aid is based on enrollment—the more students a district has, the more state aid it gets. With enrollment throughout the region on a long, slow slide for years, it is very welcome news.
    “We’re bubbling,” the superintendent added.
    It also will force the district to make decisions about adding personnel. “It’s a good problem we have right now!” the superintendent said. “Forty-two new students is a good problem.

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