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Keokuk Schools See Enrollment Increase

Jason Parrott

Enrollment is up this school year for the Keokuk School District, reversing a recent trend of declining figures. The district said its certified enrollment is about 1,916 students.

That’s up 41 students from the 2018/2019 school year and the district’s highest certified enrollment since 2014/2015. The increase is also the district’s first in four years.

Superintendent Christine Barnes said she believes there are several reasons for this, starting with the educational opportunities offered to students.

“We are doing a lot of great things here,” said Barnes. “We are really focusing on what is happening in our classrooms. We have very good staff and they are very conscientious about how they impact all learners and that is paying off in a very positive way.

“We are also really working on the social and emotional needs of our students. It is important for schools to really help students with their social and emotional needs and how to develop the skills they need to be successful in life.”

Barnes said, to that end, the district has added guidance counselors at each building and adapted curriculum to focus on those social and emotional needs.

Barnes said Keokuk’s enrollment numbers also benefitted from a stabilization of open-enrollment. Iowa law allows students to enroll in neighboring districts if they choose.

Barnes said after about a decade of negative open-enrollment figures, in which the district saw more students leave than enter the district, the numbers stabilized this year.

The enrollment increase could result in an additional $250,000 in state aid for Keokuk.

Certified Enrollment

  • 2019/2020 – 1,916.7 (pending state verification)
  • 2018/2019 – 1,875.0
  • 2017/2018 – 1,909.7
  • 2016/2017 – 1,913.8
  • 2015/2016 – 1,911.5
  • 2014/2015 – 1,963.7
Jason Parrott is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.