By Polly Mikula
Windsor Central Supervisor Union Unified School District (WCSUUSD) has reported a significant increase in enrollment this fall.
Woodstock Elementary saw the greatest increase with 46 new students — a 16.6% increase over last year. Barnard Academy was next with nine new students — an 11.4% increase, followed by Killington Elementary also with nine new students — a 7.8% increase.
Reading Elementary (PreK-3) saw a slight decrease in enrollment, at three students fewer than the year before, but Reading town sent two additional students to the middle school and three more students to the high school, for a net two-student gain from the town compared to 2019.
The district’s middle school and high school in Woodstock gained 21 students representing a 4.3% increase.
In total WCSUUSD gained 82 students, an increase of 8.2% compared to last year.
Estimates on enrollment were all over the map in the weeks and months leading up to the first day of school, Sept. 8.
In mid-summer, school officials worried about a steep decline in enrollment after a survey went out to district parents in July and 10-15% of respondents said they were concerned about sending their children to school at all.
Then, somewhat surprisingly, at a district board meeting Aug. 3 officials reported 177 new registrations across the district’s schools.
Now that school has started the net gains have been tempered somewhat, but still represent the largest increase in the districts enrollment numbers for at least a decade, and likely much longer.
Whether the students will remain in district for the entire school year and for years to come, is anyone’s guess, but school officials are hopeful that at least some will remain. “Our schools have the capacity and we are thrilled to welcome these families and their students to our community,” said Jennifer Iannantuoni, a representative on the WCSUUSD board from Killington.