(EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the second in a 3-part series examining school enrollment numbers and student transfers in Kosciusko County schools.)
Following the release of Warsaw Community School’s August Enrollment Report, an increase in transfer enrollment into the school corporation was realized. In addition to the rise in enrollment reported by the corporation, WCS also reported a total of 224 students transferred to the Warsaw corporation – 50 students more than last year. Most of those transfers come from area schools systems.
According to the WCS August Enrollment Report, transfer students, who are defined as students who attend a school outside of the district they live in, included a total of 74 Tippecanoe Valley School students, 40 Wawasee Community School Corporation students, 64 Whitko Community School students and an additional 46 students from other districts. Though WCS reports a total of 224 transfers, many of these transfers are retained students from outside of the district from prior years.
According to TVSC Superintendent Brett Boggs, Warsaw is not alone in its increase in transfer enrollment. Boggs said TVSC has reported that, of its 1,883 students, 92 are transfers – an increase from the 71 reported last year and the 50 reported the year before. Boggs noted of the 92 transfer students reported thus far, 39 students came from WCS.
“We have a lot of kids that come to us from Rochester and Warsaw,” stated Boggs. “We have a number (of students) here from Warsaw. As of Aug. 12, and the number has likely gone up a bit, we had 39 students from Warsaw. Obviously we’d love to have those kids here (the students who have transferred out of district).”
According to Boggs, local school districts began to see an influx in transfer students several years ago after a change in transfer tuition laws. According to Boggs, prior to a change in state law 4 to 5 years ago, families were forced to pay over $1,000 a year to send their students to schools outside their district. Boggs stated that as students are now able to attend out-of-district schools without paying transfer tuition, many schools have seen out-of-district numbers rise.
“The law that changed a few years ago has made it a lot easier for students to move from one district to another,” stated Boggs. “There is a lot more movement and I think a lot of it has to do where people work and have childcare. I think we have a lot of people who live in our district who have child care in Warsaw.”
Though Boggs does credit work and childcare locations as a major driving factor in where parents have their students attend school, he stated competition on attracting students is at an all time high.
“We’ve worked very hard on trying to attract students from outside of the district,” stated Boggs. “It’s a very competitive market now and we’ve had to do more marketing than we have ever had to do. We do feel like we have a lot to offer. If you look at a school district our size compared to a lot of the other districts. For example, if students want to be involved in clubs we have a better opportunity than a lot of the bigger ones.”