A surge in kindergarteners?

WEST MILFORD. After staying home last year, should we expect surging enrollment at our schools? Straus News dug in to the numbers.

| 27 Sep 2021 | 10:06

Last fall many schools saw a significant drop in kindergarten enrollment as parents kept kindergarten age children home. By some accounts, kindergarten enrollment nationwide dropped 16 percent.

”To use a sports reference, we believe families ‘redshirted,’ so to speak, incoming kindergartners,” said David Leach, Superintendent of Warwick Valley, N.Y., School District.

Reports were schools should expect a wave of new kindergarteners this fall. Straus News looked at the numbers and spoke with local school administrators to get a clearer picture of school enrollments in our area.

West Milford Township saw a big drop off in the number of enrolled kindergarteners in 2019, the year before the pandemic.

Usually approximately 200 students are registered for kindergarten. In 2019 that number fell to 169, and remained at the low level for 2020.

This year enrolled kindergarteners in West Milford jumped to 183.

In the Warwick Valley School District kindergarten enrollments increased steadily from 2015 to 2019. Then it dropped eight percent in the fall of 2020. But enrollment spiked back to its highest level in the last six years in the fall of 2021.

“We were projecting just over 200 kindergarteners for this year,” Leach said. “We got about 30 more.”

Extra preparations were made for the predicted spike in kindergarteners. “We typically have 10 kindergarten teachers,” said Leach. “This year we have 12.”