The deadline for open enrollment is March 1, 2016 for next Fall. This is an important issue for those that chose to make an educational decision that is best for their family. There are many reasons for open enrollment, ranging from certain programs a school offers, better fit geographically, participating in sports, or academic offerings. Washington currently has 144 students K-12 open enroll out, with another 8 students who open enroll out who are home school assistance (HSA) for a total of 152. We do have 66 students who choose to open enroll in, with an additional 28 students who open enroll in and are partially funded through HSA. So for our regular education students, we are at a deficit of 78 students. This equates to nearly $500,000 lost funding that is sent to other districts. The good news is, recently, I have received numerous informational calls regarding the opportunities available at Washington.
I just completed billing other districts who have students open enrolled into Washington that take concurrent classes either at our high school or Kirkwood. This weighting generates over $4,000 per semester for the district, but more importantly, allows the students to earn college credits and get a jumpstart on college.
I have also been meeting with a group of department heads at the high school regarding school improvement and how we get the word out of all the good things going on at Washington. The goal is quite clear, keep more of our resident students in district, and increase the number of families who choose Washington as their education provider. Of the open enrolled students, those who are in high school are taking full advantage of the Kirkwood Regional Academy. While the Kirkwood Center is available to most contiguous districts, it is clear it provides a bigger advantage to those who attend Washington High School. Our students can make multiple trips to Kirkwood because it is about a 5-minute drive and not lose valuable class time.
While the benefits are great, one of the challenges is keeping them engaged as being a Washington High School Student and staying involved in more activities. Our group will continue to explore this area, because these students serve as great role models to our younger students as well as enhancing our overall culture of the high school. We will continue to work as a system to ensure that all students are part of Washington Community School District, that enables them unlimited opportunities like extracurriculars, various clubs and organizations, as well as the Kirkwood Regional Center. But all of that is under the umbrella of Washington Community School District and we want them to be able to experience it all. If you have questions regarding the opportunities of Washington CSD, feel free to schedule a visit and see the wonderful things happening here. A reminder that the deadlines for open enrollment is March 1, 2016 and for 9-12 students some eligibility guidelines exist, so make sure you plan early.
The auditorium is really starting to take shape. The unseasonable weather has put the project back on track for the most part. The roof to the main auditorium is to be completed by the new year and that will allow work to be completed on the inside. The stage area is still exposed to the elements, but most of the work to be completed can be done in the extreme cold. The excitement is really mounting as this facility takes shape. Take a drive down the newly renovated Sitler Drive and view the progress. This is another great item that will set Washington CSD apart from other schools.
Wishing everyone a blessed Christmas and Happy New Year!