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Enrollment up at USD 355
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ELLINWOOD — Student numbers are up in the Ellinwood School District this year. Ellinwood Grade School has 209 students, Ellinwood Middle School has 56 students and Ellinwood High School has 134 students with a total district enrollment of 399 so far this year.
 “These are enrollment numbers as of today,” said Superintendent Ben Jacobs in an email. “ They can (and most likely will) fluctuate to some degree until count date which is Sept. 20.  This is an increase over last year and would be the first enrollment increase this district has had in many years.  We are very excited at all the new students in the district!”
 The theme for the 2012-13 school year in the Ellinwood Public School District is “Success Takes the Stairs.”
“The district is promoting a culture of excellence through concentrated effort and dedication to achievement,” he continued. “The work required for success is at times is arduous and decidedly inconvenient.  However, the resulting rewards are well worth the investment.  The students and staff in the district will work diligently to achieve excellence in all that they do.”
In a change from previous years, the school moved enrollment to EHS Commons area.
“This year EGS and EMS/EHS combined their enrollment to the High School Commons area.” said Principal Eric Sjogren. “Having a “one-stop shop” for parents with students in various buildings.  This was very beneficial for both buildings and parents.    
“Ellinwood Grade School enrollment is at 209 students, up 17 students from last year,” said Sjogren. “As of now, our smallest class is 23 students and our largest is 36 students.  We are still accepting new students.  If you have not registered or would like more information about Ellinwood Grade School, please call 620-564-2750.”  
“The administration and office staff from Ellinwood Grade School and the Middle/High School took into consideration the needs of our families and came up with the idea of a one-stop enrollment,” said EHS Principal Shawn Henderson. “We joked that we have always been two separate “stores”, but wanted to give our parents more of a “mall experience”, being able to enroll for both buildings in the same place on the same day.
“We hoped that the experience would be viewed positively, which it definitely seems it was, but there were also some surprise elements of the process that we took away from our time together,” said Henderson. “The most exciting of those was the opportunity for every family to start their enrollment process with a stop by the two principal’s tables. Mr. Sjogren and I had the privilege of officially welcoming each student back to school, and took that time to answer any questions they had coming out of last year and looking ahead to this coming year.
“Still being fairly new to the community myself, I also had the chance to meet in person some parents I had yet to meet,” continued Henderson. “It gave them a face to a name,and showed first hand our level of commitment to excellence and communication. Overall, this is something I’m sure we will organize again, and will take the next several weeks to review our protocol to make it even better for the future. There is a tangible buzz surrounding the start of the year for Ellinwood, and we intend to take that momentum and push towards success in all aspects of our district.”