By Supt. Deb Henton, North Branch Area Schools—
If you haven’t heard already, let me be the first to tell you that enrollment was not what we thought it was going to be this year. It was much higher!
It is my great pleasure to tell you that, as of Oct. 11, we are only two students down from last year. That is a significant departure from the trend North Branch Area Public Schools has been seeing since even before I became superintendent.
It certainly could be an anomaly, and we remain a long ways from a return to the days when the school district could count on growth each year, but we should celebrate as a community this wonderful development.
What does it mean for our schools?
First and foremost, it will mitigate to some degree the budget cuts we will have to make for next year and allow us more funds to help address those cuts.
Secondly, it shows that we are doing things right at North Branch Area Public Schools.
Since my arrival we have had one sacred charge each year that we are looking at the budget…find ways to improve education no matter the obstacles. We have done that in a variety of ways.
We have found ways to provide world language exposure K-12, implement half-day/every day kindergarten, create busing options for early childhood families, welcome devices into our schools, bring very popular (and oft copied) programs like Rachel’s Challenge and Project Lead the Way to NBAPS, and so much more.
At our most recent Patron Tour someone noted that NBAPS needs to be help up statewide as an example of what a school district can accomplish despite funding challenges. We couldn’t agree more, and we are hopeful this year’s enrollment is a sign that the word is getting out.