APS district sees increasing enrollment for 2019-2020 school year

Published 8:55 am Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Looks like Austin Public Schools will be experiencing another wave of growth in student enrollment for this upcoming school year.

The Austin School Board received information from Director of Research Evaluation and Assessment Corey Haugen during Monday night’s board meeting. There, Haugen described the trends of increasing enrollment overall in APS and stated that there were 5,285 students enrolled this year. This was an increase from the 5,177 students from the 2018-19 school year.

“This is phenomenal,” Haugen said. “We’re in good shape (for student enrollment).”

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Despite experiencing a large class of students graduating from APS, another large class size entered Woodson Kindergarten Center with 403 kindergarteners starting school. School board member Angie Goetz, observed that 403 students was comparatively similar to that of “an almost new school.”

Among the elementary schools in the district, Southgate Elementary School has seen the most growth in the number of students enrolling there.

One of the highlights was that there was an improvement in attendance for the first week of school, with a 97 percent attendance rate reported for students in the district. There was also an 89 percent attendance rate for parent-teacher conferences.

The number of no-shows for students also improved, Haugen said. There were 27 no-shows for the first week of school, when historically the average would fall between the mid 40’s and 50s in regards to the number of students who do not show up to school.

Knox Gym

The school board voted unanimously to allow the name of the IJ Holton Intermediate School’s gymnasium to change to Knox Gym. Principal Dewey Schara shared that they hoped to have an official renaming ceremony within the next week or so.

The naming of IJ’s gym is in honor of long-time coach Steve Knox.

Knight in shining armor

During the meeting, Neveln Elementary School Principal David Wolff shared with the school board that students held a fundraiser last year to earn money for an in-person mascot.

One of those fundraising opportunities included the chance to duct tape Wolff to the wall, along with other Neveln teachers.

Sir Neveln, a larger-than-life knight, galloped into the chamber, and comically posed for photos with Superintendent David Krenz and some of the school board members. He then proceeded to sit down in Krenz’s chair before exiting the room.

Will you be my neighbor?

As part of the ongoing efforts to address diversity in its school district, Banfield Elementary Principal Jeff Roland wrote in a report that there will be a year-long project to encourage inclusivity and to build friendships with those who share similarities and differences through the teachings of “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.”

Healthiest School

Once again, Sumner Elementary School was recognized to be one of the healthiest schools in the United States. Next week, the school will be presented with a bronze award for its efforts in making its learning environment healthy.