Enrollment in grades K-5 is lower than expected in McPherson School District, according to first-day reports.

Enrollment in grades K-5 is lower than expected in McPherson School District, according to first-day reports.
Chris Ruder, associate superintendent, said at Monday night’s school board meeting McPherson schools reported a total enrollment of 2,272, lower than last year’s of 2,326.
Ruder said this drop will not have an immediate effect on this year’s budget, since enrollment for state aid isn’t determined until Sept. 20, and schools have various methods of determining their enrollment. However, he said the school board should take this drop into account in future years.
Randy Watson, superintendent, said the reason enrollment dropped isn’t clear. He said a lot of kids are moving out of the county, and the district has seen a lot of kids change schools within the district and county this year.

ACT scores
Watson also gave a report to the board of education about district ACT scores. He said average scores have gone up, and 34 percent of students in the district met all four benchmarks for college readiness, compared to the 30 percent state average.

Sheldon Anderson, operations director, gave a construction report. He said the high school roof project is almost done.
He also said the district had a prebid meeting Aug. 21 for construction projects at Lincoln and Eisenhower elementary schools. Bids are due Sept.. 9, and construction should begin in early fall.

Physical restraint
Gordon Mohn, director of the McPherson County Special Education Cooperative, spoke about policy changes regarding the use of seclusion and restraint in public schools. The policy changes are a result of legislative updates.
According to the new regulations, physical restraint and seclusion should only be used to keep children safe, not as a method of control. Mohn said the district will have training sessions for all staff regarding the new regulations.

The school board also approved the following:
n Minor changes in wording in the district sexual harassment policy.
n The sale of this year’s high school carpentry house to a Moundridge couple.
n A bid of $16,176 from Jantz Lumber for supplies for the carpentry house.

Contact Josh Arnett by email at jarnett@mcphersonsentinel.com and follow him on Twitter @ArnettSentinel.