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31 new students: Frazee sees nice bump in enrollment

High test scores, quality education and an all around good district is what Principal Rob Nudell attributes to the influx in students this fall in Frazee-Vergas School District.

Taking the highest jump in several years, the district has enrolled 31 new students in just the month of August, bringing the elementary enrollment to 492 and the high school to 406 as of Monday.

"Last year we ended out enrollment at 472 (elementary students)," Dean of Students Troy Haugen said. "And we'll have some ins and outs in the last couple weeks, too."

Haugen takes care of the elementary students, and Nudell takes care of the 7-12 students.

Haugen said every year is different as to the enrollment numbers, but this year certainly stands out as one with high numbers. Last year, the district broke even with students coming and going, he said.

"Every couple years it cycles where we'll have a big influx and then we'll have a year or two of pretty much evens or maybe a little bit down," he added.

In the upper grades, Nudell said eighth grade is the largest grade this year, with enrollment of 86 students, and the senior class is the lowest at 50 students, an uncommonly low number.

"It's just a small class, and then next year we have a big sixth grade class coming in, so our numbers will be up again," Nudell said.

He said the other grades average about 80 students each.

Haugen said about four years ago, when he started tracking the enrollment himself, the elementary population was over 500. That hasn't happened since.

"We're still below 500, but we're obviously creeping up there at 492," he said.

Each student brings about $5,000-$6,000 worth of state funding to the district.

The majority of new students enrolling in the district are relocations to Frazee.

"Some are neighboring districts that have relocated to our districts, and we have several out-of-staters," Haugen said. "We'll see that, and especially in economic times like we are, we'll see relocations a lot more frequently than other times."

"Most are moving to the area, are excited about our school, we have some good test scores. I hope that would play a piece of it," Nudell added. "We have nice class sizes, and Frazee has been known to have a good education, so hopefully that's part of the reason."

There is no formal tracking of why students are enrolling in the district, so it's hard to say for sure. If students open-enroll to or from another district, then a reason is given for the move.

"Our total number being over the 400 mark is a nice place to be for us," Nudell said of the 7-12 grade enrollment. "Eleven (new students) is more than we had last year, and again, that was only in the last three weeks."

Several of the new students are enrolling in activities as well, he added.

"We're happy and will take enrollments at anytime," Haugen said. "We don't have a registration week, we'll let them come anytime they want."