PENNSYLVANIA'S #1 WEEKLY NEWSPAPER • locally owned since 1854

MASD enrollment grows; middle school almost as large as MAHS

By Dan Miller

danmiller@pressandjournal.com

717-944-4628
Posted 10/9/19

Middletown Area School District is educating many more students in 2019-20 compared to the previous year, as the district and school board continue planning for how to accommodate projected future …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

MASD enrollment grows; middle school almost as large as MAHS

Posted

Middletown Area School District is educating many more students in 2019-20 compared to the previous year, as the district and school board continue planning for how to accommodate projected future enrollment increases in the elementary grades.

District-wide enrollment for the 2019-20 school year is up by nearly 100 over the first day of school a year ago — from 2,378 then to 2,477 now, Assistant to the Superintendent Chelton L. Hunter told the Press & Journal.

“There are people moving in from all over,” Superintendent Lori Suski told the school board on Aug. 20.

Suski said many parents waited too late in the summer to begin the process of enrolling their children in the district.

“If these kids wait until the day school starts, how do we plan for that?” she said, pleading that parents should start the process much earlier.

The district this year is seeing enrollment surges at kindergarten and in sixth grade going into the middle school, Hunter said.

This year 183 students are enrolled in kindergarten, compared to 164 at the end of the 2018-19 school year. The district has hired an additional kindergarten teacher to handle the increase of 19 students, Hunter said.

The number of sixth-graders is up 35 more over last year. This isn’t so much new students but steady growth over the past few years, swelling up from the fourth and fifth grades.

The sixth-grade boom is fueling growth in the middle school where enrollment — 659 — is almost as large as that of the high school — 676 — despite the high school having four grades compared to three in the middle school.

The middle school surge will only continue, as this year’s fourth- and fifth-grade classes are also larger than the district has typically seen in year’s past.

These grades usually number 160 to 190 students per grade, but this year’s fourth- and fifth-grade classes total a little more than 200 each, Hunter said.

The district this year needs to come up with scheduling changes for the middle school that can be put in place for the 2020-21 school year, Suski told the board.

Otherwise, the district will have to add a large number of staff “that we cannot afford” to handle the enrollment growth at the middle school, Suski said.

Here are the school by school enrollment figures for the start of the 2019-20 school year at Middletown Area School District, as provided by Hunter:

• Reid Elementary School, 481 students.

• Fink Elementary School, 227 students.

• Kunkel Elementary School, 434 students.

• Middletown Area Middle School, 659 students.

• Middletown Area High School, 676 students.

• Districtwide enrollment, 2,477 students.