Kern: Numbers Aren’t That Bad at Supervisory Union

NEWPORT CITY – Despite previous reports, enrollment in the North Country Supervisory District is not as gloomy as previously thought.Last week Superintendent Robert Kern reported a decrease in student enrollment. However, figures printed earlier this week indicate that this is not necessarily the case.“Enrollment changes from day to day,” Kern said on Wednesday. Figures in late August and early September indicated numbers were down. “When we went back and looked at the most recent numbers, it looks like we increased almost one percent.”Since the 2007-2008 school year, students at the elementary level increased 1.12 percent and students at the secondary level increased .51 percent. That amounts to about a gain of 28 students across the supervisory union.District officials project enrollments by looking at live births in all of the district towns and its own three-year history. However, the numbers don’t always hold because transients change the population. Some schools did see a decrease of students. Kern blames part of that on families that need to move out of the area to find jobs. However, he expects that will change once new employers, like the biotech center that will be locating to the area, arrive. Kern also feels the expansion of Jay Peak Resort will encourage families to move to the region.Later this month, district officials will hold a public meeting to discuss educational areas that need attention. Kern feels elementary and junior high students should have an opportunity to study a foreign language. He is also interested in offering more technology classes and robotics classes. Students have the opportunity to use the Internet to take classes at remote sites. Kern said Lyndon State College and the North Country applied for a federal grant to have Smart Boards at North Country. The Smart Boards would be available for high school students to take colleges at North Country. With this technology, students could take college classes at North Country. A student could also take a high class not offered at North Country. Kern expects to have an answer about the grant within the next few weeks.