Kindergarten registration was lower than expected this year. After five days of screening, 390 children were registered, but Warren County Schools is expecting to have around 450 new kindergarteners in the fall.
The numbers are lower than expected but not too far off from the 2019-20 school year which saw 407. Screening coordinator Melany Crothers said, “Our total was less, but I think several schools have already had calls of students and parents who missed screening.”
She anticipates that more will register as summer approaches. “I think we will get at least 50 to 60 more.”
Director of Schools Grant Swallows shows the same optimism. “I fully expect more students to register,” he said, “They are still coming in this week.”
Kindergarten registration isn’t the only concern as enrollment overall has taken a hit. The school system gets funded based on the previous year’s enrollment, meaning the budget for the 2021-22 school year is based on the average daily membership of this school year.
2017-18 – 6,301
2018-19 – 6,278
2019-20 – 6,259
2020-21 – 6,073
Warren County has seen a decrease in enrollment this school year, as have other counties. Figures for this school year are current and could edge slightly higher or lower before the year is over.
With the amount of federal grant money rolling in, some assume the money can compensate for the smaller enrollment.
“I can’t pay salaries out of this federal funding,” Swallows said to the Warren County Education Committee. Although the school system has received millions in federal funding, it’s not money that can go into the general purpose budget.
Warren County Schools is currently trying to use the federal funds in any capacity that is allowed.