WDAZ: Your Home Team

Published August 27, 2010, 06:07 PM

GF Says Enrollment Numbers Up and Down

The Grand Forks School District says this year's enrollment numbers are a bit of a good news / bad news scenario.

By: Brady Mallory, WDAZ

The Grand Forks School District says this year's enrollment numbers are a bit of a good news / bad news scenario.

Officials at Century Elementary say they offer a type of class the other schools do not. Officials say it is helping increase the number of students at Century.

Blending different cultures in the classroom is becoming a big draw for families who are new in the comunity, and is what one woman's career is all about.

"I believe a kid's a kid. No matter where they are, no matter what religion, no matter what language," said Carrie Kasowski, a teacher who specializes in teaching a classroom of multicultural students.

The class is for kids of new Americans;families who immigrated to the United States. There are 66 kids in this class, helping single out Century Middle School amongst the rest of the district.

" We are up in numbers, we have around 550 if we count our pre-school and special Ed," said Cindy Cochran, Principal of Century Elementary.

It contrasts with other numbers in the area. With total enrollment for the district just released, Dr. Larry Nybladh said numbers from last year to this year are down 151 students.

" That's pretty much a continuation of a trend we've seen for 16 years now a decline from fall-to-fall," said Nybladh, Superintendent of Grand Forks Schools.

He said the decline is on par with the rest of the nation. The district loses numbers during the school year when students and their families leave the community. Nybladh wants to do some investigating.

" We need to roll up our sleeves and decide, 'Are we going to allow this trend of decline to continue? Is there an intervention so we can see if we can turn it around?'"

Eventually, the district would like to examine demographics in the community and look at what other districts are doing to figure out a way to turn the decline around. Maybe new classes like Kasowski's, which helps kids adapt to life in America will keep generations in grand forks.

"The kids and their families want to learn. They're so eager to learn," she said.