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Helmut Schmidt, Published September 03 2013

Moorhead, D-G-F report enrollment increases

MOORHEAD – The Moorhead and Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton school districts saw enrollment increases on Tuesday’s first day of school, officials said.

Moorhead reported 5,685 students, up 21 from last year’s opening enrollment, but 202 more than it was this spring.

Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton schools opened to 1,522 students, an increase of 59 from last year’s 1,463, Superintendent Bryan Thygeson said.

Moorhead schools saw the biggest enrollment increase in kindergarten, with 503 children enrolled, up 11 students from last fall’s opening enrollment that was the biggest since 1995.

The draw of adding all-day kindergarten this fall, a full year before the state begins funding the program, helped fuel the increase, district officials said.

“We’re excited about the opportunity to have all-day kindergarten, which will provide an excellent foundation for learning,” Superintendent Lynne Kovash said.

Thygeson said Dilworth had 170 students in kindergarten this fall and most of the elementary school grades have 120 to 130 children.

Last year, the district graduated 75 seniors. This year’s senior class is 96 students. The junior class has 94 students, the sophomore class has 95 and the freshman class has 98.

Thygeson said the growth in elementary grades will eventually work its way into the middle and high schools.

“(Classroom space) will be an ongoing issue. There’s no question. It’s a good problem,” Thygeson said.

In Moorhead, there are 490 students in first grade. Second grade has 409 students, third grade has 432, fourth grade has 426 and fifth grade has 427.

Moorhead’s sixth-grade classes have 423 students, seventh grade has 441, eighth grade has 400, ninth grade has 469, 10th grade has 433, 11th grade has 409 and the senior class has 423 students, district figures show.

Another 263 students receive early intervention services in Moorhead.

Enrollment at Horizon Middle School is 1,261 students, which is 50 fewer than last fall. Moorhead High school enrollment is 1,633, up 10 students from last fall.

Elsewhere in F-M:

E Park Christian School, which opened last week, reported 380 students in kindergarten through grade 12 on Tuesday, an 11 percent increase from last fall’s opening enrollment of 342 students, said Teresa Nickel, the Moorhead school’s director of admissions and marketing.

Nickel said enrollment grew the most in kindergarten through eighth grade.

E Grace Lutheran School in Fargo opened its doors Tuesday with 128 students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade, Principal Jean Syverson said. That’s about the same as last year, she said.

“It was a fabulous day, very high energy. The kids are ready for school and so are we,” Syverson said.

The school was to open last Wednesday, but delayed classes due to the region’s hot temperatures that kept classrooms too warm for effective learning.

E St. Joseph’s School in Moorhead had 223 students Tuesday, Principal Toby Biebl said. That was slightly lower from last fall’s reported opening day enrollment of 245 students.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Helmut Schmidt at (701) 241-5583