There are plenty of new faces in the hallways at Rye High School and Midland Elementary thanks to a last-minute influx of 114 newly enrolled students.
By Sarah Varney
There are plenty of new faces in the hallways at Rye High School and Midland Elementary thanks to a last-minute influx of 114 newly enrolled students. The total enrollment in the Rye City School District for 2013-2014 is 3,324, versus last year’s 3,210.
Rye High gained 77 students mostly in grades nine and 11. Midland School added 33 students, concentrated mostly in kindergarten and grade four. Two sections of kindergartners at Midland now have 23 students, just above the optimal 18 to 22 student class size cited by the Rye City Schools Board of Education. The school added a section to accommodate the larger fourth grade class and now has five sections, up one from last year.
Milton, Osborn and Rye Middle School gained seven, 11 and 14 respectively. Osborn added one section for fourth graders and was able to decrease the number of third grade sections by one. As at Midland, Osborn also now has two kindergarten sections with 23 students instead of the recommended 18-22 number.
The unexpected increase left district officials scrambling in August, according to School Board President Laura Slack. “We had 80 kids in August we hadn’t expected,” said Slack. “At all three schools we were calling fourth-grade parents to make sure they were coming [in order to adjust class sizes],” added Slack.
For elementary school parents at Midland and Osborn, delayed receipt of class assignments, particularly for kindergarteners and first graders, was somewhat nerve-wracking. “I was a bit surprised, but it was fine. He got a great teacher and that’s all that matters, really,” said Siobhan Dixon, parent of an Osborn kindergartener as well as a third grader.
No one, including the District, is quite sure why the last-minute influx occurred. Real estate agents cited an increase in house sales, along with a small migration of families from other top-notch Westchester school districts. “There’s no question that people still list ‘schools’ as a priority when they move. I suppose in a way, we’re a victim of our own success,” concluded Slack.