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District 206 enrollment continues climb

Alexandria School District 206 released its official enrollment count and, as of October 1, there are 3,951 students enrolled.

District officials say it’s 43 more students than last year and it’s right on target with their projections.

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In a news release, Superintendent Rick Lahn noted, “Enrollment has steadily increased since 2009. We are excited that this year’s count is right where we thought we would be and supports that positive upward trend.”

Annually, student enrollment projections are calculated in February using the most current enrollment data available to assist the board in budget planning for the upcoming school year.

The district reportedly uses a conservative approach to calculating enrollment projections using district enrollment history, birth rates for Douglas County and census data for newborns to 4-year-olds.

Why wait until October to tally student enrollment?

“It is very typical that enrollment will change slightly from September to October in any given year,” Lahn explained. “When school starts each fall, we have students listed as enrolled who have moved from the area. In many cases, parents do not contact us to inform us they have moved. We use [October 1] numbers as they are a more accurate projection of our actual enrollment.”

The district started last school year (2012-2013) with 3,908 students and the 2011-2012 school year with 3,947 students.

Post-Secondary Education Option (PSEO) students who are enrolled at Alexandria Technical and Community College are not included in enrollment figures.

Lahn explained, “As PSEO participation has increased over recent years, it has been difficult to remain consistent in reporting enrollment based on how the state calculates those students. While our reported enrollment appears flat from the previous two years, our increased PSEO students make up the increase.”

Amy Chaffins

Amy Chaffins is a journalist working for the Echo Press newspaper in Alexandria, Minnesota.

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