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Sycamore School District 427 officials to look at student enrollment increase

Matthew Apgar -
A sign is photographed on Thursday, July 6, 2017 in Sycamore.
Matthew Apgar - A sign is photographed on Thursday, July 6, 2017 in Sycamore.

SYCAMORE – Sycamore School District 427 officials are looking at a larger student increase this year than in recent years ahead of its district board meeting Tuesday.

According to the District 427 sixth day of class enrollment report, Superintendent Kathy Countryman said student enrollment is up 41 students this year. She said the majority of the increase came from the elementary grade levels from pre-kindergarten through fifth grade.

Countryman said the reason for the increase is unclear and that district officials are still looking deeper into the data to plausibly determine what would've caused this year's change in enrollment. She said District 427 will conduct a new family survey, which is still being developed, in the next month or so for more information on the increase.

"Once we get that survey out to our new families, we'll know a little more," Countryman said.

The enrollment update report is one of a couple of anticipated topics for discussion Tuesday night, according to the meeting's agenda.

Countryman said she suspects that recent growth and development in Sycamore may have attributed to the student increase this year. She said enrollment numbers after this point in the school year have been flat with little increase in the past few years.

"So this is a little more than what we have had over the years on that sixth day," Countryman said.

Student enrollment numbers in the district have fluctuated up or down about 20 students from 2014 through 2016, according to Illinois Report Card. There were more than 30 less students enrolled in the district in 2017, with the official enrollment count amounting to 3,763, according to state data. Illinois Report Card data reflects the number of students enrolled as of the last school day in September of the previous year.

Also in the agenda, Courtney Walz, director of out-of-school care for the district, is set to give the annual update for District 427's OSCAR program, which provides before-school and after-school care for students in kindergarten through fifth grade. Current fees for the district's out-of-school program are $12 per day per student before school, $15 per day per student after school, and $19 per day per student for both.

Walz said current fees have stayed the same for the past few years. Countryman said the presentation on Tuesday is not meant to be followed by a fee recommendation, but it will be up to the board down the road to determine if there will be a need to increase those out-of-school program fees for families.

The school board is scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Southeast Elementary School, 718 S. Locust St.

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