For the first time in the modern era of Iowa schools, no public district has a certified enrollment under 100.
There’s no margin of error on that statistic for 2016 — Diagonal clocks in at exactly 100, with a dozen others under 200, according to certified enrollment tables put online as usual on the fourth Monday in January. Numbers in this blog post are rounded.
And, as usual, Waukee crushed all comers, adding 579 and passing the 10,000 mark. Second place was Ankeny with 400. But those two are so big now that Grundy Center and Tri-County, by adding 24 and 18 respectively, had better percentage gains. Four urban and nine suburban districts saw an increase of more than 100.
Percentage-wise, Olin, Harris-Lake Park, and Laurens-Marathon all lost more than 8% of their student body. The biggest numerical drop in a sub-1000-enrollment district statewide was West Monona, down 43, now at 649.
North Tama is only 80% of the size it was a decade ago, with an enrollment down to 441. Gladbrook-Reinbeck lost about another 20, falling to 567. It should go without saying, but, eep.
The biggest numerical gainers in a sub-1000-enrollment district that didn’t change borders were Rock Valley and East Buchanan with 46 and 45, respectively. East Buc did pretty well, actually, with only three other unadjusted districts — Keota, Alden, and Stanton — showing better percentage gains.
State enrollment as a whole rose slightly, with an increase of 1720 putting the total at 486,098. That’s the best number for public schools in Iowa since 2002. But of 333 districts, 178 lost students and another 100 added fewer than 20. And looking back at those 2002 numbers, so many rural districts — South Page and Orient-Macksburg are two that stick out — have been hammered. Five, including GMG, had an enrollment above 400 then but below 300 now. For further reading on the trend lines look back to my summer series, especially June 28 (the big gainers) and June 29 (the statewide map).