Siouxland school district sees significant drop in enrollment numbers

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AKRON, Iowa (KCAU)  – While thousands of schools across the country are dealing with issues in education thanks to the pandemic, one school district in Siouxland is seeing a noticeable decline in enrollment numbers.

“Student enrollment is down 51 students and for us, that’s significant,” said Randy Collins, Superintendant of Akron-Westfield Community School District.

He said enrollment for the 2020-2021 school year is down around 9 percent. He said the district did some digging to figure out why.

“Several families, that had large families that had several children, had moved, relocated for a variety of reasons. Mostly, whatever was best for the family, so economic or relocating for a job for family reasons. Several juniors chose early graduation. It was explainable and something that we plan to watch. We’re concerned about it,” Collins said.

One parent in the Akron-Westfield School District said it’s always a concern when enrollment numbers drop, but this year, it’s not a surprise, and he doesn’t predict a significant effect.

“I don’t see Akron changing. We had a few families leave, but that’s not a trend. I guess there’s a couple big families that left we had a couple kids that have chose, because of COVID, to do homeschool so that’s kind of changed some things, but I don’t see long term that this is going to have any long-term effect on enrollment,” parent Nick Schoenfelder said.

Superintendent Collins said the district receives roughly $7,000 per student, which means a loss of around $350,000 dollars in state funding but Collins said it’s manageable.

“We have a $3 million reserve currently and also the school finance system does have a safety net, so next year we’re guaranteed 101 percent of this year’s revenue, so the system provides some relief and gives us a good year, then to do some careful planning and adjustment,” Collins said.

Collins adds the district is back at its enrollment numbers from 5 years ago and doesn’t expect a continued decline.

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