According to the preliminary count, enrollment is down by 19 students this year in the North Platte schools, Finance Director Stuart Simpson told the school board Monday.
That equates to an average loss of 1.5 students per school building, he said.
Simpson said there are 3,997 students this year, but the numbers have yet to be analyzed to see if the loss might be connected to a school or a class, or something else that is identifiable.
Also, sometimes students are enrolled in two schools at once, because their family has moved. Discrepancies like that will be cleared up in coming weeks, he said.
The official enrollment number will be reported to the state department of education on Oct. 31, Simpson said.
State aid is awarded to North Platte based on the number of students.
Enrollment was also discussed as the board renewed the contract with the North Platte police department for an officer assigned to the schools.
Simpson also described new steps to keep school buildings safer – including a new system that will print an identification label for a visitor when they enter a building.
The system, from Raptor Technologies of Houston, Texas, will be introduced Oct. 22 at the high school and tried on a test basis, Simpson said.
Also, faculty and staff have ID cards that they show to a scanner to enter the building, he said. School board members received their IDs at the meeting Monday.
The system is the same as that used at Great Plains Health hospital, Simpson said.
Visitors show an ID, such as a driver’s license. Their identify is instantly screened against sex offender registers in all 50 states, according to the Raptor website.
Raptor can also check visitors against custom databases. Each school can set custody alerts and/or a list of banned visitors, the company says.
Simpson said the district’s safety committee is also working on an evacuation plan and ways to reunify outside the building, if disaster strikes.
In one of the two action items, the board voted to renew the contract for a school police officer. The cost is $42,835 a year.
Associate Superintendent Tami Eshelman said safety is vital, especially when one considers that there are 4,000 students plus about 800 staff members.
In the other vote at the meeting, the board officially approved the sale of Hall school, which sold on Sept. 27 for $200,000 at auction. Accepting the sale proceeds was a formality, but board members said they were pleased with the sale. President Mike Morrell said the price was higher than he expected.
Both votes were 5-0. Board member Stuart Shepherd was absent.