The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

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August 15, 2012

Some enrollment shifts cited in Joplin area

JOPLIN, Mo. — Joplin’s public and Catholic schools reported slight dips in enrollment on Wednesday, the first day of the new school year.

Public schools in Neosho and Webb City recorded significant increases.

JOPLIN

The Joplin School District saw some decreases from last year, but Superintendent C.J. Huff said he believes the numbers are pretty stable and are likely to increase after the Labor Day holiday.

Combined enrollment at all elementary schools is down by about 35 students from last year, to a total 3,533 on the first day of school.

The three middle schools show a slight gain of about 15 students, totaling 1,646.

At the ninth- and 10th-grade campus, enrollment is up by about 88 students, totaling 1,124. The 11th- and 12th-grade campus is down by about 120 students, totaling 948. Huff said that number may be skewed because the district thinks some seniors had enough credits that they didn’t have to attend first hour, when attendance was counted.

“(The numbers) can change tomorrow as we clean up our data,” Huff said.

CATHOLIC SCHOOLS

St. Mary’s Elementary School’s enrollment dipped slightly on the first day, down by about 15 students from last year, to about 180.

“The first day is going well,” said Principal Steven Jones. “The numbers are down just a little bit. Some people have moved in, some moved out, and not as many preschoolers have come in.”

At St. Peter’s Middle School, the numbers are slightly up from last year, totaling 81 students on the first day of school, said Caitlin Durbin, school secretary.

McAuley Catholic High School’s enrollment has increased, up to 103 students from 99 last year.

“I’m very excited about this year as I know all the area schools are,” said Principal Gene Koester. “We feel like we had the summer to be able to replenish goals and get back on task, and we’re looking forward to a variety of programs we’ve instituted.”

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