Enrollment numbers are in for Nodaway Valley’s schools and the district has good news to report.
Superintendent Paul Croghan gave report to the school board, during their Wednesday, Nov. 8 meeting at the high school, that the district is up 30 students from the same time one year ago with 642 students in school as of the early October reporting date.
“When we were 10 students up last year, I thought that was kind of odd and we weren’t going to see that, and this year we’re up 30,” Croghan said. “Now, we did hire a few people who have kids, which is always good. That goes back to how communities welcome people. Can they get things there? Do they have good housing? All of these things tie together.”
The report went further to say Nodaway Valley has 16 students open enrolling in and 44 open enrolling out to various districts. Croghan said convenience is the name of the game for families in the open enrollment environment these days.
The unspent authorized budget, which was on a report the school board received during the meeting, always has to be positive, Croghan said. School enrollment plays big into school financing. Nodaway Valley is at $5.76 million in that category.
Croghan said that the district’s financial picture right now is good. They may face tough decisions down the road, “but we don’t have to make those decisions right now.”
The fact the district isn’t truly fully staffed has meant certain financial burdens have been lifted for them, but they would like to fill those positions.
“You’re down a math teacher, you’re down a special ed teacher. There’s three more positions you’re not paying for,” Croghan said. “You’re saving because you would love to hire them if you could hire them, but you’re not spending that money. As soon as you fill those positions you’re going to increase your expenditures too.”
COVID relief funds the district has also been able to draw from in recent years will be going away soon.
Croghan said it is important legislators at the state level understand the amount of money school districts spend on paying their staff. At NV, 76% of the district’s revenue is spent on paying staff.
The superintendent noted that this is the second straight year, following many years of declining enrollment, that NV’s enrollment has climbed.
Another discussion the board had was various questions they might have for Orient-Macksburg’s board if a joint board meeting is held later this month or early December regarding possible future whole-grade sharing between the districts.
Both boards made intentions known for keeping the whole-grade sharing option open for the future, a requiremement for the process by law as Orient-Macksburg explores its options going forward considering enrollment and financial factors it faces.
Nodaway Valley and O-M are currently in a tuition-in sharing agreement currently with high school students taking certain classes at NV daily. Various high school and middle school activities are also shared.