SCSD9 enrollment is lowest in 30 years

Big Piney High School file photo

BIG PINEY – Enrollment at Sublette County School District No. 9 (SCSD9) continues to decline, Superintendent Dr. Charles Jenks reported to the board of trustees on Sept. 20.

The district lost 28 students from the end of the 2021-2022 academic year to the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year, Jenks said. Overall student numbers posted at the beginning of the new school year in September stood at 446, the first time in 30 years enrollment dropped below 450, he added.

District administration were able to dig through district records as far back as the 1991-1992 academic year when 640 pupils attended SCSD9 schools.

While the ninth and 10th-grade classes remained large, those grades will “exit” the district in two to three years.

A smaller kindergarten class and decreasing enrollment across other grades was “definitely a concern” in terms of school funding because the state’s model is tied directly to the average daily membership, Jenks explained to the board.

Despite the somber news on enrollment, Jenks praised principals at each school for “doing a fantastic job” getting the “school year up and going.”

Each principal deserved gratitude for filling their schools with “positive vibes, enthusiasm and excitement” for the 2022-2023 school year.

He also gave school administrators and teachers a shoutout for putting the professional learning communities program, or PLC, into motion. Jenks hoped the PLC leadership meetings would continue to involve teachers “at a higher level” to improve learning “from the ground up” for students across the district.

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