Watford’s school enrollment holding steady
By Neal A. Shipman
The big question that Watford City school administrators faced as McKenzie County Public School District No. 1 prepared for the start of the 2020-21 school year on Sept. 8, was what impact would the slowdown in oil activity, as well as COVID-19 have on enrollment numbers.
And as Watford City’s schools wrapped up their registration process last week, the school administrators could finally breathe a sigh of relief as initial numbers are putting school enrollment very close to where they were last year.
“We had approximately 1,800 students at the end of school last year,” states Steve Holen, district superintendent. “We were hoping to see at least 1,700 students this year considering the slowdown in oil activity and the possibility that concerns over COVID-19 would negatively impact our enrollment numbers this fall.”
According to Holen, as of last Friday, the district had 1,753 students registered to attend classes compared to 1,796 last year, a drop of 43 students.
“We expected our high school and middle school numbers to be very comparable to last year,” states Holen. “But we were concerned about a drop in enrollment in our elementary school and kindergarten numbers.”