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Morris Area enrollment dips as school year begins

Camryn Ostby waits for a ride home following her first day of 1st grade on Tuesday at Morris Area Elementary School. Photo by Nancy Woodke, Sun Tribune.

Morris Area first-day enrollment for the 2010-2011 school year is down about 11 students from last year but is still higher than the projected figure used to budget for the year.

Superintendent Scott Monson reviewed first-day enrollment and projections with School Board members Tuesday. He presented the figures with the caveat that it typically takes a month after the school year begins to settle on an accurate number.

The Morris Area School District began classes on Tuesday.

The district reported 974 students at the end of the 2009-2010 school year, and projected 978 students would be in classes this fall. First-day enrollment was 11 students under the projection, but Monson stated that he based his 2011 budget on a projection of 959 students for this year.

Projections for the next three years are 952 in 2011-2012, 974 in 2012-2013, and 957 in 2013-2014.

Monson stated that he bases his projections on a decrease of 1 percent of students each year, on 75 percent of eligible kindergartners, and conservative estimates of St. Mary's School and Cyrus students.

Monson noted that the district enrollment was fewer than 900 students three years ago, and that he expects Morris Area enrollment to range between 960 and 970 students in upcoming years.