Kindergarten enrollment up a good sign [UPDATED]Published 9:37am Wednesday, July 17, 2013 Updated 11:38am Wednesday, July 17, 2013
The Fergus Falls School Board recently announced the hiring of three new teachers at McKinley and Adams schools for the upcoming school year, and it appears the change to free kindergarten is making a positive impact on the school district and community.
The 2013-2014 school year will be the first to implement free kindergarten at Fergus Falls Public Schools. Most of the cost will fall on the state instead of local parents, and we are glad to see positive results, including early signs of increased enrollment for kindergarten in the school district.
Free kindergarten will encourage more parents to start their children in Fergus Falls, and the district will be less likely to lose kids to other area schools. Students and parents become invested into a district early on. Classmates become friends and parents get to know teachers and faculty members. When relationships are built, students are less likely to leave for a different district.
The hiring of three new teachers is a sign of things to come in the district if the boost in enrollment is more than just a fluke. As larger class sizes climb the ladder to second, third, fourth grade and beyond, the school will continue to grow and take on new teachers.
Superintendent Jerry Ness attributed some of the growth to the increasing city population, but it’s a chicken-and-egg scenario. A more attractive school system leads to more city growth, and city growth leads to increased enrollment.
While we can’t be sure if numbers will be as predicted quite yet, these early signs indicate that the change to free kindergarten should be positive for the school district and bring more families and employment to Fergus Falls.