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MISD sees bump in enrollment

The Mercer Island School District had an unexpected bump in enrollment at the beginning of the school year, according to the district’s September enrollment counts.

The district had approximately 74 more students enroll at the beginning of the school year than were expected, largely at the middle school and the high school.

According to Dean Mack, the executive director of business services and human resources for the district, about a third of the new students are in sixth grade at Islander Middle School and another third are attending Mercer Island High School. The remaining 20 students are spread across all grade levels throughout the district.

“My guess is it’s probably due to the economy,” said Mack of the increase. He said that, most likely, students who had previously attended private schools in the area have now returned home to go to school on the Island.

Along with the increase in students, MISD will also see a slight increase in funding from the state, which is why enrollment numbers and predictions are so important to school districts. The increase will help the district continue to provide basic services for schools and students.

“We’re hiring to provide services for all kinds of things,” said Mack.

He added that, despite the fact that a larger number of sixth-graders enrolled, the district will not be hiring an extra teacher for the middle school because the class sizes are still in line with what the district had planned for.

“We have added time to help with math tutoring and to supervise the buses and crosswalks,” he said.

Mack said that the district is not expecting the enrollment numbers to jump again, now that school has started.

“I anticipate that is probably the lion’s share of it,” he said.

For more information on the district, visit www.misd.k12.wa.us.

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