Kirkwood Enrollment Increases
I just received some preliminary enrollment numbers for Washington County Regional Center for the Fall 2016 term. With this only being the second year, enrollments are showing a strong upward trend. At this time last year, the Center had 220 students from 6 area school districts, compared to 245 students for the Fall of 2016. This trend of increased enrollment is a great reminder of the opportunities available to the students not only in Washington Community School, but also for the surrounding districts. Our students have a great luxury by having this in our community.
Last year, the number of credits earned by Washington Community District students was valued at over $276,000 in tuition that our parents will not have to pay. While not each and every class is guaranteed to transfer, more and more flexibility is being shown by all colleges to accept these credits. This is similar to the same dilemma students could face by taking Advanced Placement (AP) if they are unable to earn a qualifying score at the end of the term, the credit doesn’t transfer. If your student participates at Kirkwood, you will not be faced with 5 years of postsecondary expenses, but rather they should be finishing a 4 year degree in 3 years. What an advantage for our students. We also have a few students on pace to actually receive their Associate of Arts(AA) degree while in high school. While this is not a plan of study for all students, it is nice to know that it is possible.
The other bright spot is that we have more involvement from area schools in what the Center has to offer. This following numbers indicate the breakdown by district of the students participating at the Washington County Regional Center for the Fall 2016 term, with the 2015 enrollment in parenthesis. Washington High School - 181(158), Washington Home School - 1 (2), WRAP - 10(8), Highland High School - 37(59), Keota High School - 9(9), Lone Tree High School - 2(1), Mid-Prairie High School - 9(11), Mid-Prairie Home School - 8(3), and WACO - 1(0).
This is very exciting to see all of the area high schools encouraging their students to take advantage of the wonderful opportunities at the Washington County Regional Center. I am certainly glad that this opportunity is so convenient for the students who attend Washington High School. Kirkwood does an outstanding job of adapting to increased needs of the workplace and continue to improve the offerings at the Regional Center. For Washington Community Schools, I hope this continues to lower our open enrollment deficit that is slowly improving. If you have questions, feel free to drop me an email or stop by.
This should be my last update in this column about the Auditorium. We are so close to the opening of this grand facility. Words can’t describe what people will experience when they attend an event in this building. We hope to have an open house on September 25th, from 4:30 - 6:00. The first official event to satisfy the requirement for Vision Iowa, will be the group Tonic Solfa. I saw this group probably 10 years ago, and they are outstanding. Tickets for Tonic Sol-fa will be on sale at the open house on Sept. 25th.
The Stewart Daycare/Preschool addition continues to take shape. I remember the day we had the groundbreaking ceremony that was dampened by cold, wet, drizzly conditions, I thought I hope the construction season is much better. Maybe it doesn’t seem better, but the crews have lost very few days to weather on this project. The brick facade is complete on the exterior, while drywall is being installed inside.
We are excited to know that if everything continues, this building will be occupied near or after Thanksgiving. While we will be in the new building, Stewart West will need to be demolished and the new parking completed, probably in the Spring of 2017. While not totally complete, our preschoolers will not be commuting outside any longer. Thank you to the patrons of Washington Community School for passing the bond on this project and to the Women of Washington(WOWIE) for their generous contributions to the daycare portion. We are excited to begin our relationship with the Y as our daycare provider in the daycare portion of the building. We have not set a date for that transition and that will be dependent on what works best for the Y.