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Sat, Jan. 18

Humboldt district enrollment up 65 from last year
Bus times, stops on track as students learn routes

The 11th day of school is important to Dan Streeter, Humboldt Unified School District (HUSD) superintendent, as he takes note of student enrollment.

After the 10th day of the school year, the “no-shows” are dropped from student registration lists at each of the district’s 10 school sites. In comparison to enrollment numbers from the 11th day of the 2018-19 school year, the district has gained 65 students, Streeter said. This is also shows a gain of 100 students from the last day of school in May. Total enrollment on the 11th day of school this year is 5,719.

“Last year, all districts in this area declined in proportion to total enrollment,” he said, adding that local school districts also are experiencing greater numbers this year. “It’s interesting. I have no answer to the previous decline, and now the increase, in students.”

The HUSD Governing Board approved the addition of two teaching positions at its board meeting earlier this month to help with the unexpected number of kindergarteners entering Lake Valley Elementary School and an increase in seventh-graders at Liberty Traditional School.

Streeter also noted that Bradshaw Mountain High School has a greater number of incoming freshman this year.

Bus transportation delays, as usual, take about two weeks at the beginning of the school year to work out. The first week, students are learning bus-riding routines, including which bus to get on and becoming familiar with their driver and stops. This can hold up bus times by 15 minutes or so, which then causes another delay as buses leave one school late to pick up students at another school.

When this happens, buses have a hard time accessing school sites because parents are arriving about the same time and driveways and lots become congested. After a week, things begin to settle down.

But not for long.

Because many parents like to drive their kindergarten and early elementary students to school the first week, these students begin their bus-riding adventures the second week of school. This begins the delay problems all over, Streeter said.

By the middle of the third week, he said, most buses have been hitting their times regularly.

The district put effort into letting parents know over the summer that some routes would be consolidated. “With the early notification, we got out in front of it,” said Assistant Superintendent Cole Young, adding that bus occupancy numbers are up this year.

Routes are still being evaluated and adjusted. Where there are no riders, the bus stop is eliminated, Streeter said.

Students riding the bus from Cordes Lakes or the bus from Chino Valley/Prescott have the longest ride times, but the district is keeping the times within industry standards, Streeter said.

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