SMASD enrollment continues to decline

Enrollment within the St. Marys Area School District continues to decline, dropping a total of three percent from 2,275 students last year to 2,212 students this year. According to Ann Kearney, superintendent, there are 732 students enrolled in high school, 560 at the middle school and 929 in the district's three elementary schools, including 114 at Bennetts Valley, 208 at Fox Township Elementary and 605 at S. St. Marys Street Elementary."As we look ahead in the district, we must realize that our buildings are not being utilized to the highest capacity as they were 10 or 20 years ago," Kearney said. Since 2001, Bennetts Valley has seen a 30 percent drop, while the middle school has seen an 18 percent drop and the high school a 16 percent drop. Additionally, there has also been a seven percent drop at Fox Township and a two percent drop at S. St. Marys Street.The largest enrollments at the schools in the past decade were 961 students at the high school in 2005-06; 682 students at the middle school in 2001-02; 654 students at S. St. Marys Street in 2003-04; 239 students at Fox Twp. in 2008-09 and 163 students at Bennetts Valley in 2001-02. Middle school orientation is slated for Wednesday, Aug. 17 from 6-8 p.m and Thursday, Aug. 18 from 2-4 p.m. This is for all sixth grade students and new or transfer students. Freshman orientation for high school will take place on Thursday, Aug. 11 at 6 p.m. in the high school auditorium.The first day for teachers is Monday, Aug. 22, with the first day of school on Tuesday, Aug. 23. Additionally, the average class size within the district is 19.5 students.