Shenandoah County schools see enrollment changes this year

Shenandoah County Public Schools saw some enrollment changes this school year that may be due to boundary changes that went into effect this month.

Superintendent Mark Johnston said he can’t say for certain at this point how much of the enrollment changes are due to the boundary changes, but “I believe it is safe to say that the large majority of these are due to boundary shifts.”

Elementary schools showed the largest change in enrollment from last year.  Johnston said high school students were grandfathered so the high schools showed the smallest changes until those students graduate over the next three years.

“Overall, overcrowded schools had enrollments that decreased and underutilized schools had enrollments that increased,” he said. “That was the goal of the short-term boundary adjustments.”

For elementary schools, Ashby Lee saw an additional 106 students walk through its doors this year, W.W. Robinson Elementary School had 86 fewer students, and there were 15 fewer students at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

For the middle schools, North Fork Middle School saw an increase of 20 students, there were 46 fewer students at Peter Muhlenberg Middle School and 55 fewer students at Signal Knob Middle School.

The division’s high schools saw a smaller change in enrollment, with Stonewall Jackson High School’s student population increasing by 21 students, Central High School increasing by 15 and there are 13 fewer students at Strasburg High School this year.

The school division’s final count for fall enrollment will be available after Sept. 30.

Johnston said that he is aware of at least one family that bought a new home and is aware of another family that moved over the Labor Day weekend. He added that he heard from another family that expressed concerns prior to the first day of school, but the students attended their new school.

Johnston said that overall, families have adjusted well to the changes this school year and have been very understanding.

“A few have expressed concern over longer bus rides, which we continue to adjust and monitor,” he added. “In terms of the instructional programs, teachers and staff, I am aware of no complaints about anyone’s new school.”

Contact staff writer Kaley Toy at 540-465-5137 ext. 176, or ktoy@nvdaily.com