Red Oak schools report post-COVID enrollment rebound | News | #coronavirus | #kids. | #children | #schools

(Red Oak) — Red Oak’s School District is among those experiencing a slight enrollment increase in the wake of COVID-19.

Red Oak School Superintendent Ron Lorenz tells KMA News the district’s enrollment for the 2021-22 school year is estimated at 1,071 students–an increase of approximately 36-and-a-half students over last school year. Lorenz says this year’s enrollment figures reverse the trend of declining numbers over the past few school years, and represent a rebound from the pandemic.

“To some extent, it’s bounced back from COVID,” said Lorenz. “I know that many districts across the state are seeing an increase in enrollment. We did some comparative data, and I think the average in southwest Iowa was a .6 increase among at least the 25 districts I looked at. So, we were significantly higher than that.”

Lorenz also attributes the increase to feedback over recent facilities improvements.

“We get a lot of positive feedback about the work we’ve done, with respect to our buildings,” he said. “I know our teachers, our administrators did a really good job with their Return to Learn plan. We worked hard on that, and we strived to give parents a lot of options, and again, we got some great feedback on a lot of those things.”

Lorenz adds the enrollment hike also is reflective of positive things happening in Red Oak.

“There’s a lot of new businesses being opened,” said Lorenz. “There’s a lot of investments. Our city does a nice job in terms of everything they do. I think it’s just a positive trend in Red Oak, and we’re excited about that.”

Lorenz’s comments followed Monday night’s Red Oak School Board meeting, in which the board also reviewed the district’s attendance center and course enrollment data. In other business, the board approved an increase in adult lunch prices to $3.95 per state requirements, and approved two field and sports trip events: the School Beyond School trip to the Durham Heritage Museum in Omaha December 11th, and the Red Oak Wrestling program’s participation in the Kansas City Stampede Wrestling Tournament December 17th and 18th.

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