Highland reports drop in certified enrollment

RIVERSIDE — Schools in the area are seeing a decrease in certified enrollment, and the Highland Community School District is no different.

While a little bit of the drop is due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Superintendent Ken Crawford said the certified enrollment has been dropping three of the last four years.

Certified enrollment is a number calculated by the state to determine state funding. Various types of students — for instance pre-kindergaten student — are assigned a value.

Unlike other schools in the area, Highland does not have its own home-school assistance program, so any students who are home-schooled must do Competent Private Instruction, a program that does not count toward certified enrollment.

The school does count students who chose to do virtual learning this year.

This year, Highland has a certified enrollment of 609.10, a drop of 11.75 students compared to last year.

Crawford said the school is working to keep families attending school in the district and stop the decrease.

For each student, the school is provided $7,048 in state funding. This year Highland is estimated to lose more than $82,000 because of the lower enrollment numbers.

Crawford said the school has a little room in the budget, but it is tight.

“We have to be very careful,” he said.