Another enrollment increase expected for St. Joseph Public Schools

By Tony Wittkowski | Business Reporter | The Herald-Palladium

ST. JOSEPH — Early enrollment numbers are in for St. Joseph Public Schools and they have district board members smiling.

As of Monday, SJPS has 2,930 students enrolled for 2015. In comparison, the district had 2,839 in 2010. Superintendent Ann Cardon said district enrollment has now increased each of the past three years.Cardon credited the district’s focus on technology as one of the reasons for the growth in numbers.

“That’s a pretty large increase from 2010,” Cardon said. “This a great opportunity for our district and our kids. We’ve got great facilities and a great staff, which is attracting a lot of people who are vying to get into our district. That’s still a fluid number because we still have some people coming and going in the beginning of the school year.”

The official count day, in which enrollment numbers are solidified to account for late transfers, is Oct. 7.

Curriculum Director Kelly Gaideski gave board members the district’s updated progress on the school improvement plan.

The district is in its third year of the five-year improvement plan, which focuses on new concepts for reading, writing and mathematics, among other subjects. Cardon said the plan is different than past plans, and referred to it as a “living document to live by,” rather than just a binder full of paper.

“I taught in an era where the school improvement plan was something you wrote, finished and checked off your list,” Gaideski said. “We’re really trying to make this document a guide for what we do to help students learn at St. Joseph.”

One of the changes Gaideski said the district is seeing from its improvement plan is small group instruction – splitting students up into smaller groups, rather than teacher an entire class all at once.

“It’s allowed us to look at student learning and see where kids are and where they need some intervention and extensions to help them grow,” Gaideski said.

In addition, a handful of new high school and middle school teachers were introduced during the meeting.

The board’s next meeting will be at 6 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 21 at the North Lincoln Administration building.

Contact Tony Wittkowski at twittkowski@TheHP.com or (269) 932-0358. Follow him on Twitter: @tonywittkowski.

(Author’s Note: This article was originally published on Sept. 15, 2015)

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