Derry’s school enrollment is holding steady.
Assistant Superintendent MaryAnn Connors-Krikorian gave the enrollment report at the Sept. 20 School Board meeting. While the board and administration will continue to monitor class sizes, especially in two near-capacity second grades, the enrollment of 3,322 in grades Kindergarten-8 is the same as it was Sept. 1.
Connors-Krikorian first reported on kindergarten. As of Sept. 20, Derry Village Elementary School had 58 kindergarten students; Ernest P. Barka Elementary School, 71; East Derry Memorial Elementary School, 72; Grinnell Elementary School, 52, two more than on Sept. 1; and South Range Elementary School, 38, two more than on Sept. 1.
Chairman Dan McKenna asked if some of those students were overflow because their neighborhood kindergartens were full, and Assistant Superintendent Chris Kellan confirmed, “There is still some overflow.”
Two second grades, Barka and East Derry, will have a close eye kept on them, Connors-Krikorian said. Barka has second grade class sizes of 23, 22, 22 and 20, while East Derry Memorial has classes of 23, 23 and 21.
The “strive for” size for a Grade 2 class is 20.
Comparison to the Sept. 1 enrollment is as follows:
Derry Village, 446, same; Barka, 550, decreased by 4; East Derry Memorial, 422, increased by 2; Grinnell, 390, same; West Running Brook Middle School, 536, decreased by 1; and Gilbert H. Hood School, 654, decreased by 4.
The lost students balance the newly-enrolled, Connors-Krikorian said. K-5 enrollment is 2,132 and middle school 1,190, for a total of 3,322 in K-8. “It’s the same as Sept. 1,” Connors-Krikorian told the board. “It balances off.”
Board member Lynn Perkins made three “housekeeping” requests. First, he said, he would like to have the schools listed in the same order on all documents, so he can “have an idea how the district aligns.”
He also wanted to see the class size policy reflected in the reports, and the enrollment numbers for the previous years.
Connors-Krikorian also reported on the number of homeless students in the district, which has increased since Sept. 1. On Sept. 1 the district had 16 students classified as homeless in grades K-8. By Sept. 20 they had 26 homeless students from 17 families.
“This is a significant increase,” Connors-Krikorian said.