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North Country school enrollments staying steady

Union Leader Correspondent

September 17. 2012 10:53PM

The school population in Androscoggin Valley has not declined much or at all since the 2011-2012 school year, according to top administrators in SAU 20 and SAU 3.

Corinne Cascadden, superintendent of SAU 3 in Berlin, reported Monday that the first day of enrollment in 2012 was exactly the same as the first day in 2011, with 1,280 students in the Berlin School District's schools.

'We lost students and gained some, balancing out to the same number,' she said, noting that Oct. 1 is the day the official count is submitted to the state. 'We are expecting additional families both this month and next as the prison ramps up to full staffing.'

Paul Bousquet, superintendent of SAU 20, said the number of students at the Edward Fenn Elementary School is the same as last fall, at 190. The school educates the students of the Gorham Randolph Shelburne Cooperative School District.

Bousquet said the Gorham Middle High School population is down this year. In fall 2011, 256 students were at that school, this year there are 238. He said the incoming freshman class at the high school has 37 students, while the freshman class last year had 42. The senior class is smaller, too, with 35 members in the Class of 2013. At the June 2012 graduation, 47 students received their diplomas.

'We have a few enrollees based on employees from the federal prison but not a significant amount,' Bousquet said.

The student population at Conway's three elementary schools is holding steady, despite a new charter school, the Robert Frost Charter School, which opened in North Conway this month.

Conway Elementary School gained three students over last school year, going from 243 to 246 students. Pine Tree School in Center Conway gained 10 students, with 237 youngsters in its classrooms compared to 227 in the fall of 2011.

The John Fuller School in North Conway has nine fewer students this year. Its student enrollment is 244. The school had 255 last fall.

Kennett Middle School had 304 students at the end of the school year in June. This year, the school has 291 students. Kennett High School had 848 students in December 2011, this year it has 897. That population does not include the district's Eagle Academy, which offers an alternative path to a high school diploma.

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