School enrollment throughout the area this year varies between districts, but overall it remained relatively steady.
There are 2,732 students enrolled in the Waterloo district this year, down slightly from last year’s 2,738.
That breaks down to 433 students at Zahnow Elementary School; 368 at Rogers Elementary School; 416 at Gardner Elementary School; 635 at Waterloo Junior High School; and 880 at Waterloo High School.
“We don’t have a big change this year overall,” Waterloo Superintendent Brian Charron summarized. “Most of our fluctuation at each building is due to movement of a particularly large or small class. Our kindergarten enrollment is down approximately 30 students this year. With the amount of new construction, we continue to expect a long-term trend of gradual increase in enrollment.”
Waterloo also has two administrators in different roles this year. Jessica Washausen is the new Gardner principal and Amber Cruser took over as WJHS assistant principal.
Columbia saw a slight uptick in students, with 1,958 students enrolled. That is seven more than last year.
The distribution of those pupils is 303 at Eagleview Elementary School; 441 at Parkview Elementary School; 569 at Columbia Middle School; and 645 at Columbia High School.
There has also been a shake-up in administration.
Courtney Castelli is serving as the new assistant superintendent, with Angela Huels taking over for her as CMS principal and Scott Kuse replacing Huels as assistant principal at CHS.
Enrollment is down by 24 children in Valmeyer, as it has 392 students compared to 416 last school year.
There are 174 students in the elementary school, 92 in junior high and 126 in high school.
“Currently the smallest class in the district is the senior class (22) and the largest is the junior class (46),” Valmeyer Superintendent Eric Frankford explained. “So, I assume that our enrollment will go up in 2021 and down in 2022, if the kindergarten classes are in the average range.”
Gibault Catholic High School’s enrollment is also a little lower than last year, with 200 students signed up for classes versus 212 in 2018-19.
New Gibault Principal Stephen Kidd said he is nevertheless optimistic about enrollment, as the school is seeing an increase in international students, public elementary school pupils and non-Catholic families.
“We continue to develop relationships with our feeders school to help maintain Catholic enrollment in this area,” Kidd said. “I am looking forward to strengthening connections within the diocese and working more closely with enrollment directors at our other area high schools to make improvements across all diocesan schools.”
Ss. Peter & Paul
The number of pre-K through eighth grade students enrolled at Ss. Peter & Paul Catholic School in Waterloo decreased by 16 this year, with 245 children enrolled.
“We are implementing some new curriculum that will allow us to further differentiate our instruction and adapt our teaching methods to focus on all levels of learning,” SPPCS Principal Lori Matzenbacher said. “Also, we are continuing to see growth in our test scores, and because of this I look for our enrollment to increase over the upcoming years.”
Immaculate Conception School in Columbia saw a large enrollment increase this year, with 26 more students signed up than last year.
There are 382 students enrolled, with 55 in preschool or pre-K and 327 in kindergarten through eighth grade.
The biggest change at the school this year is that it is in a new building.
ICS Principal Mike Kish said everything related to the new location at 409 Palmer Road is going well.
“I believe we are off to our best start since 1987, when we added on to our 1921 building,” he said. “There is a lot to be said about square footage per person since you need to spread out more in today’s delivery of education….This campus, like the earth, is truly holy ground.”
Kish was also optimistic about the school’s enrollment, saying the school’s approach to education draws families.
Dupo also saw it’s numbers rise, as 1,021 students have enrolled, which is 30 more than last year.
That breaks down to 595 children at Bluffview Elementary School and 426 at Dupo Junior/Senior High School.
“The staff and Board of Education have been working diligently to offer new programs and celebrate our numerous successes,” Dupo Superintendent Kelly Carpenter said. “Our teachers and staff are committed to the success of students and work tirelessly to build relationships to support all of our students. I believe that these efforts are not only increasing opportunities for our students, but enhancing their overall academic programming.”
The school district also welcomed Brian Levin as new Bluffview assistant principal and Michael Cory as new junior/senior high school assistant principal.