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USD 431 sees enrollment rise
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HOISINGTON — Unlike many schools throughout the state, USD 431 Hoisington School District has seen student enrollment rise every year since 2007.

Although the official count for the school year is on Sept. 20, the current head count, which is the actual number of students in the school, is at 746. The head count at the end of the last school year was 685.

USD 431 Superintendent Bill Lowry attributes the rise to families moving into Hoisington. "In the last two months, I’ve seen a lot of houses get sold or move," he said.

Plus, "The pre-school has a very good reputation," Lowry said. "The program is very successful and had to expand."

The school offers a 3 and 4 year old preschool, which not all schools in the area offer.

In addition, Lowry attributes a good relationship between the community and schools to the growth.

In 2001, a tornado destroyed housing in the city, and school enrollment fell. "It has taken time to recoup," the superintendent said.

The district is maintaining a low student to teacher ratio. In the elementary schools, there are three sections in every grade with 16 or 17 students in a class.

Lowry said that the student numbers change each month as students move in and out.

The schools use full-time equivalency numbers for the official count because the preschool students and kindergarteners are only funded for half a day of school by the state, so these students only count for one-half.

The current FTE at USD 431 is 650 FTE, up from 605 FTE last year. This amounts to a seven percent rise.