School enrollment takes slight dip, but still well above 600 student mark

 For the fourth consecutive year, enrollment at Chase County Schools (CCS) remains well above the 600 mark.
    Numbers released Tuesday by Supt. Joey Lefdal show 629 students in the K-12 school in Imperial. Classes started Wednesday, Aug. 23.
    While the 629 count on Tuesday is a slight drop of five students from the 2016-17 fifth day enrollment, the numbers remain strong especially in the elementary grades.
    The fifth grade class is the largest in the school with 61 students enrolled. But the third graders aren’t far behind with 60 counted in that grade this week.
    The new class of kindergartners comes in third for numbers with 55 first-time students attending. They are again divided into three classrooms for 2017-18.
    First, second and third grades are also separated into three sections, while fourth grade has two.
    In the high school, grades 9-12, the senior class is the largest with 52 students, but the sophomores are just one student behind with 51.
    The junior class is the school’s smallest with 34 students.
    In a look at total enrollments over the past decade, CCS is up more than 100 students compared to 2008-09.
Principals: off to good start
    Chad Scheel, grade 7-12 Principal, said administration has been thrilled with the start of the new school year.
    “We have had a very positive start. Spirits are high,” he said this week.
    He believes the enthusiasm of the new lunch program at CCS this year, Lunchtime Solutions, has added to the good beginning.
    He said school lunch numbers are up overall from last year. He’s especially noticed a higher use among the high school students.
    He estimates about 75-80 high school students were in the lunchroom Tuesday. That compares to an average of 30 last year.
    Many are also taking advantage of the “grab and go” option as high school students can leave the campus during their lunch period.
    He said more teachers are also eating in the cafeteria at noon.
    K-6 Principal Becky Odens echoed Scheel’s comments, saying, “Things are going well the first few days of school.”
    She said the staff has welcomed several new students to CCS this fall, “and we have a great exciting group of kindergartners joining us.”
    She agreed, too, about the lunch program, saying she’s heard a lot of positive comments about it.

2017-18 enrollment by class
Kindergarten    55
First grade    46
Second grade    50
Third grade    60
Fourth grade    36
Fifth grade    61
Sixth grade    48
 GRADE K-6 TOTAL    356
Seventh grade    46
Eighth grade    44
Ninth grade    46
Tenth grade    51
Eleventh grade    34
Twelfth grade    52
 GRADE 7-12 TOTAL    273
10-year K-12 enrollments
2008-09    518
2009-10    543
2010-11    563
2011-12    560
2012-13    582
2013-14    599
2014-15    613
2015-16    624
2016-17    634
2017-18    629
Source: CCS Supt. Joey Lefdal as of Aug. 29, 2017.

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