Former charter students bolster enrollment on first day | SierraSun.com
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Former charter students bolster enrollment on first day

Renee Shadforth

An influx of students from Prosser Creek Charter School resulted in some last-minute shuffling at Truckee schools, but the first day of school went more smoothly than some expected, say Truckee site administrators.

At some schools the addition of Prosser Creek students increased projected enrollment by as many as 35 students. On other campuses, the extra students filled a void created by declining enrollment.

Elementary schools

As usual, Donner Trail Elementary School, a magnet program on Donner Summit, was full on the first day of class. The school has 60 students, and there are at least 10 more students on Donner Trail’s waiting list.

At Glenshire Elementary School, 507 students came to the first days of school. The campus had the exact same enrollment at this time last year, but Glenshire’s projected enrollment was supposed to drop.

Then Prosser Creek’s charter was revoked, and 19 students joined Glenshire Elementary’s program.

“I would have lost kids if it weren’t for the Prosser Creek kids coming out,” said Principal Kathleen Gauthier.

Truckee Elementary opened its doors to more than 650 students on the first day of school. Enrollment was roughly 25 more students than administrators expected.

“And it’s changing every day,” said Principal Cathy Valle.

Although charter school students were a factor in the enrollment increase at Truckee Elementary, they only created half of the influx at the school.

“It’s interesting the number of students coming from out of town on the first day,” Valle said.

The younger population of students is also increasing in Truckee, Valle said.

Middle school

Sierra Mountain Middle School had 35 more students on the first day of class than Principal Don Beno had planned.

In order to accommodate the extra students, Beno hired an extra teacher. Extra staffing kept the middle school’s student-to-teacher ratios at the class size reduction level of 29-to-1, but just barely.

Beno said he expects more students to sign up as the first week of school progresses.

“We fine-tuned our [faculty],” he said. “If the kids show up that we are expecting and if we grow, we may get enough students to warrant another teacher.”

High school

An increase in students resulted in more course offerings at Tahoe Truckee High School, where approximately 845 students showed up to class this week. In June, site administrator Mike Finney projected 815 students would enroll in the high school.

“It’s been a challenge,” Finney said. “Our counseling staff has been working real hard with these changes.”

Luckily, the high school held the first-ever Wolverine Days, an orientation for incoming students, the week before school started. Because of Wolverine Days, counselors were able to correct a lot of scheduling errors before the first day of school.

“It made everything, in terms of opening the school, go much, much smoother,” Finney said. “Everything didn’t go perfectly … but having that extra week really helped.”

In the coming weeks, site administrators said they expect numbers to fluctuate a bit, with students still enrolling in district schools.


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