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School enrollment nearly same as last year

Sep 27, 2012 By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer

The most recent tally of students enrolled in Riverton schools should validate administrators' claim that some Fremont County School District 25 buildings are operating over capacity, Superintendent Terry Snyder said.

As of Sept. 7, total enrollment in grades K-12 was measured at 2,596 students, compared to 2,601 during the same week last year, according to district statistics, which Snyder shared with his board of trustees.

"We're starting this year virtually the same way we started last year," Snyder said. "We didn't experience a big drop."

The similarity is significant, he said, because last year's numbers represented a 10 percent increase in enrollment at the elementary level. That group of students maintained its size this year as well: Last week 1,267 elementary students were enrolled in Riverton schools, and on Sept. 6, 2011, there were 1,226 students enrolled.

"Sometimes after a big increase you see a drop," Snyder said. "But we continue to have that strong enrollment. (That) helps to solidify some of the studies we'll be involved in with the School Facilities Commission."

The Wyoming SFC now considers capacity issues when deciding which of the state's school districts are in need of new facilities. Snyder said the decision to consider capacity was meant to make funding distribution more equitable.

"I think the SFC is trying to be fair to all of the districts in the state, whether you're a small or large district," Snyder said. "They're trying to look at the building level so it's not contingent upon how big you are or how influential you may be."

Other enrollment statistics

On Sept. 7, there were 2,596 students enrolled within Fremont County School District 25. Of those, 730 attend Riverton High School, 577 go to Riverton Middle School and 22 attend the city's alternative school.

This year's K-2 class of 682 students includes 218 kindergarteners, 242 first-graders and 222 second-graders. The district's 200 third-graders, 205 fourth-graders and 180 fifth-graders make up the 585-person student body at Rendezvous Elementary School.

Board chairman Carl Manning noted that Rendezvous will lose 180 fifth-graders next year and gain this year's crop of 222 second-graders, adding 42 students to the building that already is operating at about 130 percent capacity.

"We'll see significantly more pressure," Manning said, and Snyder agreed, adding, "Rendezvous is getting tighter."

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