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Wyoming down 1,894 K-12 students; NCSD enrollment lowest in last eight years

(Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

CASPER, Wyo. — The Wyoming Department of Education (WDE) said on Monday that there are 1,894 less K-12 students enrolled across the state this school year compared with 2019-2020.

“Fall school enrollment in Wyoming’s 48 school districts dropped from 93,832 students in the 2019-20 school year to 91,938 during the 2020-21 school year – the first time enrollment has dipped below 92,000 students since 2012,” the WDE said.

The Natrona County School District is seeing the lowest enrollment since the 2012-2013 school year. NCSD is down 576 students compared to the 2019-2020 school year.

NCSD enrollment numbers are as follows, according to the WDE:

  • 2020-2021: 12,754 students
  • 2019-2020: 13,330 students
  • 2018-2019: 13,039 students
  • 2017-2018: 12,975 students
  • 2016-2017: 13,010 students
  • 2015-2016: 13,082 students
  • 2014-2015: 13,059 students
  • 2013-2014: 12,796 students
  • 2012-2013: 12,750 students
  • 2011-2012: 11,772 students
  • 2010-2011: 11,743 students
  • 2009-2010: 11,642 students

Enrollment numbers help determine some of the funding districts receive, so a decrease in enrollment equates to less dollars going to a district which sees decreases.

While enrollment across the state is down in 38 districts, ten school districts saw increased enrollment numbers increase this school year.

The WDE notes that Niobrara County School District #1 saw the greastes increase, adding 607 students. That amounts to a 76.8% increase.

Park County School District #16 saw a 75.5% increase, or 74 students. Big Horn County School District #1 had a 68.1% increase, or 729 students.

The WDE notes that these districts which had the largest increases offer statewide virtual education programs.

“Wyoming had a structure in place to offer full-time virtual education to students before the COVID-19 pandemic began,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow said. “I am proud of Wyoming educators for their commitment to offering in-person instruction and I’m grateful that parents and families had a range of public, home, virtual, and private options.”

The WDE provides further data regarding K-12 enrollment:

“This data was gathered from all school districts throughout the state in a snapshot performed on October 1, 2020,” the WDE adds. “The agency does not collect numbers of students enrolled in home or private school.”


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