KPBSD Finance Director Elizabeth Hayes (left) gives a presentation on the school district’s FY23 budget at Soldotna High School on Thursday, Oct. 8, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

KPBSD Finance Director Elizabeth Hayes (left) gives a presentation on the school district’s FY23 budget at Soldotna High School on Thursday, Oct. 8, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

KPBSD student enrollment higher than projected

Historical enrollment numbers were presented to the KPBSD Board of Education

For the first time in five years, the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District’s actual student enrollment is higher than its projected enrollment. Members of the KPBSD Board of Education were presented with historical enrollment numbers during a finance committee meeting on March 14.

KPBSD Finance Director Elizabeth Hayes said enrollment numbers were prepared at the request of committee chair Jason Tauriainen, who voiced support for more diligent tracking of the movement of students in and out of the district throughout the year.

For fiscal year 2022, which began on July 1, 2021, and will end on June 30, 2022, there were about 440 more students enrolled in KPBSD than projected.

Student enrollment in the school district helps determine how much money the district will get from the state during its budget cycle. The more students enrolled, the more money the district stands to receive. All Alaska school districts participate in an annual 20-day count in October.

Additionally, Hayes said the district is starting to see the number of students enrolled in the district’s home-school and brick and mortar schools balance out. Student enrollment in Connections, the school district’s home-school program, increased during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’m hoping next year that we’ll have more kids returning to our brick and mortar schools,” Hayes said.

Connections Principal Richard Bartolowits told board members during a presentation last spring that enrollment in the program had doubled that school year, from around 875 students during the 2019-2020 academic year to 1,777 during the 2020-2021 academic year. The number dropped to around 1,170 this school year.

KPBSD board of education meetings can be viewed on the district’s media page at media.kpbsd.k12.ak.us.

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at ashlyn.ohara@peninsulaclarion.com.

More in News

National Weather Service radar for the Kenai Peninsula and Southcentral Alaska on Aug. 17, 2022. (Screenshot)
Rain, rain and more rain

Low pressure systems drive wet conditions in Southcentral

Sockeye salmon return to Steep Creek to spawn. Alaska’s overall commercial salmon harvest across all species is currently up 15% from 2021 (2020 for pinks) with Bristol Bay and the Prince William Sound largely carrying the weight while other regions lag, according to data from the most recent Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute weekly salmon harvest update. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
Statewide salmon harvest on the upswing compared to last year

Bristol Bay and Prince William Sound are mainly pulling the weight

Jake Dye / Peninsula Clarion
Congressional candidate Mary Peltola responds to a question during a forum at the Kenai Visitor Center on Aug. 3 in Kenai . Early Wednesday, Peltola had earned 38.4% of first-choice votes in a race that will determine who fills Alaska’s lone U.S. House seat until January.
Mary Peltola responds to a question during a forum at the Kenai Visitor Center on Aug. 3, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Peninsula Clarion/Jake Dye)
Democratic candidate Peltola leads U.S. House race early, but Palin may win in final count

Former governor and Republican U.S. House candidate Sarah Palin stands to benefit from ranked choice voting

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
COVID hospitalizations on the rise

86 patients were hospitalized with 10 patients on ventilators

2022 gubernatorial candidate Charlie Pierce walks in the 65th annual Soldotna Progress Days Parade on Saturday, July 23, 2022 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Pierce among leaders in governor’s race

Incumbent Gov. Mike Dunleavy leads the pack overall

Braeden Garrett holds signs supporting Alaska House of Representatives candidate Justin Ruffridge at the intersection of the Kenai Spur and Sterling highways on Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Ruffridge, Babcock lead in early primary results

Unofficial preliminary primary election results showed significant margins between the first- and second-place candidates

Pollworkers Carol Louthan (center) and Harmony Bolden (right) work at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2022 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Local voters cast ballots, try out ranked choice

Locally, multiple candidates have their sights set on seats in the Alaska Legislature.

U.S. Senate candidate Kelly Tshibaka joins Donald Trump on stage during a rally at the Alaska Airlines Center on July 9, 2022, in Anchorage, Alaska. Tshibaka is seeking to become one of four candidates to advance in the U.S. Senate race during Alaska’s primary election Tuesday, Aug. 16. (Bill Roth/Anchorage Daily News via AP, File)
U.S. Senate candidate Kelly Tshibaka joins Donald Trump on stage during a rally at the Alaska Airlines Center on July 9, 2022, in Anchorage, Alaska. Tshibaka is seeking to become one of four candidates to advance in the U.S. Senate race during Alaska’s primary election Tuesday, Aug. 16. (Bill Roth/Anchorage Daily News via AP, File)
Murkowski advances in Senate race, Palin in House

Kelly Tshibaka, her GOP rival endorsed by former President Donald Trump, was among the candidates bound for the November general election

Most Read