Education graphic

Enrollment in Council Bluffs Community School District is up, according to preliminary numbers.

As of Sept. 5, there were 8,691 K-12 students enrolled in the district, up 101 from the Oct. 1, 2018 total of 8,590, according to materials for Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting. As of Tuesday, the difference had widened to 110 students, according to David Fringer, chief technology officer, who reported the numbers to the board.

“The district monitors enrollment on a daily basis,” he said.

“We’re very encouraged,” said Vickie Murillo, superintendent. “The preliminary numbers are up, and it’s our hope and belief they’ll remain up.”

Another positive sign is the large kindergarten class that started this fall, Fringer said.

“It’s actually the largest of our K-12 groups,” he said.

The kindergarten class is 698 students, while the average among all grades is 668.5, Fringer said. That’s still higher than last year’s average of 660.8 students per cohort.

District officials are “optimistic,” Fringer said, but the official count that is reported to the state won’t be taken until Oct. 1 and may be lower than current numbers.

“Enrollment at this time of year is highly volatile,” he said. “We do have a lot of mobility.”

Hopefully, the early numbers mean the district won’t be hit by a large drop this year. Enrollment was down 129 in October 2017 and about 71 in October 2018. That cost the district about $870,000 in state aid for the 2018-19 schoolyear and about $300,000 for the current school year. State aid is based on the number of pupils, with extra weight added to some kinds of students.

“If our enrollment went up, we’d have a much easier time when the budget comes around,” Murillo said.

In other business Tuesday, the board awarded roofing work at Longfellow and Roosevelt Elementary Schools, Thomas Jefferson High School and the Tucker Career and Technical Learning Center to Imperial Roofing, which submitted a bid of $252,250. Although Imperial was the only company that submitted a bid, it was much lower than the estimate of $284,048.

On the other hand, the estimate for tuck pointing at Longfellow was $61,000 higher than budget, so the facilities, maintenance and custodial services department will consider rebidding the project at a later time or dividing the work into smaller pieces, according to Staci Pettit, director.

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