School bus

Enrollment numbers at area schools are holding steady for the 2021 school year, according to data provided by the districts.

Washington School District saw the biggest decrease in enrollment, down 5.1 percent, or 206 students, this school year compared with last. Most of the decrease was in elementary school enrollment, which  is down 9.1 percent with 180 fewer students than a year ago. Washington West is seeing the biggest drop in students, from 634 a year ago to 540 this year. Campbellton, Clearview and South Point each expect approximately 20 fewer students this school year. Both the high school and the middle school are seeing negligible increases in population, with each showing an enrollment increase of about six students.

Meramec Valley R-III is expecting 18 more students as a district this year, with enrollment expected to be 2,947. The growth is mostly at the district’s elementary schools, which are expecting a 4.4 percent increase in the number of students. Nike Elementary is expecting the largest increase among Meramec Valley R-III schools, with 33 more students than 2020. The data also points toward growth in the future. Kindergarten and first grade enrollments are the largest growing classes in the district, each expecting a 17 percent increase in enrollment.

The district’s elementary students can expect a nearly 19-to-1 student-teacher ratio on average.

Meramec Valley R-III is prepared for the growth, in part because of a system of projections based on birth rate in the district, according to Tom Sauvage, board member and assistant superintendent of personnel and student services.

New Haven School District is predicting eight more students than last year, with total enrollment expected to be 509 students. New Haven High School has seven fewer students than last year, but the middle school and elementary schools have enrolled nine and six more kids, respectively.

St. Clair did not provide 2021 enrollment figures, but the district is expecting about the same numbers as last year. A year ago, St. Clair High School enrolled 660 students; St. Clair Middle, 473; and St. Clair Elementary, 922, for a district total of 2,055 students. The graduated senior class was the largest in the district with 184 students, and last year’s first grade class was the smallest with 141 kids. The next-largest class will now be juniors in high school. Last year, the group numbered 178 students.

“We expect to have quite a few students who were virtual last year come back to in-person instruction,” Dr. Steve Weinhold said. “But as far as total enrollment, we are not expecting an increase, maybe a very minor decrease.”

Union will have 45 more students throughout its schools, a marginal increase from the 3,042 enrolled a year ago. Union High School is expecting 80 more students for the upcoming school year, an 8 percent increase over last year. Union Middle School expects 49 fewer students.

St. Francis Borgia Regional High School is expecting nine fewer students in 2021 compared with 2020, a decrease caused by a large senior class graduating, according to Moira Vossbrink, director of marketing and admissions for the school. The high school’s enrollment is 435 for the upcoming year. Although she did not have data yet, Vossbrink said the school is encouraged by strong growth in its partner schools, which feed into the high school.