TheÂ Madville Times is experiencing some slow load times. I'll get under the hood again after work and try to figure out which Intertube is plugged.
Not experiencing slow load time: the Spearfish school district. Spearfish superintendent (and my boss!) Dave Peters told the press yesterday that our district's fall enrollment is up by 80 kids, a 4.1% jump to 2040 kids districtwide.
Superintendent Peters speculates that the Bakken oil boom is driving some of that enrollment. I do know one new high school student whose dad brought the family up from Texas for a North Dakota oil job. Â But if those northerly job opportunities are driving our growth, Belle Fourche twelve miles to our north isn't seeing the same impact: their school district is only counting 14 new heads, a 1.0% climb to 1368. Of course, it's possible that a Bakken boost there might simply be offsetting other rural decline factors.
Once again, I feel compelled to point out the French connection. Despite its name, Belle Fourche has had to cut its French program. Last year, Spearfish hired a new French teacher. And what happens in the next school year? Much bigger growth in Spearfish than in Belle Fourche. I'm telling you, good French education is the straw that stirs the K-12 drink....
Meanwhile, back home in Lake County, Madison is looking more like Belle Fourche than Spearfish. Madison's K-12 enrollment is up 10 kids, 0.9% to 1131. Madison's outpacing Chester (down 6, 1.7% to 341) and Oldham-Ramona (unchanged at 122... and now I feel like I'm talking feeder cattle).
But Rutland is smoking everybody. 23 open enrollment applications wiped out a population decline and raised Rutland's fall enrollment by 17 kids, up 13.7% over last year to 141 kids. (Alas, no French at Rutlandâ€”there goes my hypothesis!)
The Department of Education has not posted the full fall 2012 enrollment data set for the entire state. Stay tuned!