School head counts reveal some changes in student populations

Updated: Nov 18, 2021

School districts across Linn County are showing some change in enrollment for the 2021-22 school year compared to last year’s head count.

The state takes the official full-time equivalent (FTE) student head count on Sept. 20 every year. The figure counts students who attend full time as well as those who only attend part of the day to come up with the FTE number. All three districts in the county combined have a FTE student count of about 1,750.

Prairie View USD 362’s count showed an increase of about 10 students over last year. Last year had an FTE student count of 844.2 students, and this year the count is 853.9 for the whole district, according to Rex Bollinger, district superintendent.

The breakdown by school is La Cygne Elementary, 187; Parker Elementary, 187.5, Prairie View Middle School, 202; and Prairie View High School, 277. The middle school counts three grades (sixth, seventh, eighth) while the high school has four.

Jayhawk USD 346 student count is about 540 FTE students, down about nine or 10 students, said Superintendent Shawn Thomas. He said the district graduated a larger senior class than usual last year, creating the difference.

Pleasanton USD 344 is up about 22 students from last, said Superintendent Travis Laver. The FTE count for the district is about 364; 193 for Pleasanton Elementary and 171 for the junior and senior high school.

Laver said he expected overall class sizes to drop next year, however.

The FTE count is used to determine the districts’ basic general fund budgets based on funding per student. The state looks at a three-year average of student populations in determining that budget to avoid large swings in allocations.

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