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October 16, 2013

Duncan enrollment dips from last school year

DUNCAN — Numbers for Duncan enrollment won’t be finalized until today. But numbers from Oct. 4 reflect a lower number of students this year than for the 2012-13 school year.

As of Oct. 4, which is three days off the important Oct. 1 enrollment deadline, a total of 3,846 students enrolled in Duncan Public Schools. Total enrollment was down from the previous year, which had an Oct. 1, 2012, total of 3,930 students.

On Oct. 1 of each year, Oklahoma school districts submit their enrollment numbers to the Oklahoma State Department of Education. From those numbers, the State Department determines how much funding goes to each school district. The more students a school district has enrolled the larger percentage of the state funding it receives.

But school districts have until Oct. 15 to get their numbers finalized.

“Enrollment is crazy,” Assistant Superintendent Rodney Calhoun said. “It fluctuates all the time. It’s like a roller coaster.”

Calhoun said he and Superintendent Sherry Labyer review enrollment numbers often to see where the district is in relation to where it has been. The Oct. 1, 2012, total was the highest enrollment total in the past five years.

When taken into consideration, the total enrollment from Oct. 4 this school year is higher than finalized enrollment four years ago, when total enrollment was 3,827. Because enrollment does fluctuate, Oct. 1 serves as the annual deadline, keeping every school on the same timeline.

Calhoun said the ups and downs of enrollment numbers are to be expected, especially as people and jobs move out of a community.

“It’s happened in every school district I’ve been in,” he said.

He said Duncan enrollment is still promising. Calhoun said the enrollment numbers will continue to change even after the numbers are finalized. He said it goes with the territory.

“I don’t have any concerns,” Calhoun said. “To me, it’s good.”

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