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Enrollments rise and fall

Student numbers dip again in Forest Grove, while gain in Gaston is a surprise

Continuing a four-year trend of declining enrollment, Forest Grove schools so far this fall are experiencing a slight drop in the number of students showing up for class.

Human resources director Dave Willard told the school board Monday night, however, that the district is likely to produce a net gain in enrollment by Oct. 1.

'There's some real volatility in our numbers during the first 10 days of school,' he said.

As of Monday, district enrollment stood at 5,963 students, down four from the total on June 1.

Echo Shaw Elementary lost the most students at 58, likely because of families leaving the area to find work, Willard said.

Dilley Elementary gained 59 pupils, mostly due to transfers from Gales Creek Elementary, which closed at the end of the 2010-11 school year.

Willard reported that of 113 former Gales Creek students displaced by the closure, 91 were still enrolled in the district.

District leaders cut a halftime teacher at Echo Shaw and a fulltime teacher at Joseph Gale Elementary because of lower numbers at the K-4 level, Willard said.

Class sizes across the district are larger this year after teacher layoffs implemented last spring.

In Gaston, the first week of classes produced a net gain of 12 students district-wide, giving the tiny district an expected boost of $156,000 in state school funds.

'We ended [last year] with 458 students, we budgeted for 444 and we're at about 470,' said superintendent Dave Beasley. 'For us, this is a positive step.'

Banks School District is seeing flat enrollment, with a total of 1,137 students reporting for classes in the first four days. A drop in elementary numbers is being offset by an increase in students at the high school, said superintendent Jim Foster.

where are the gales creek kids?

64 students are at Dilley

4 are attending other local grade schools

23 are enrolled at Tom McCall Upper Elementary

15 are going to online charter schools

7 are in home school or have moved