CEDAR FALLS — Enrollment continues to rise in Cedar Falls Community Schools, but the increase was small in the first days of classes.
A total of 5,304 students were attending kindergarten through 12th grade in the district as of Tuesday, the eighth day of classes. That is 14 more than last year’s first day.
“This year was supposed to be a smaller increase,” said Superintendent Andy Pattee, based on district projections. “Looking at the overall trend lines, we’re right where we thought we would be.”
Cedar Falls Schools has been experiencing a growth spurt for more than a decade, which is reflected in its first-day enrollment. The number of students at the start of the year has risen from 4,391 in 2004 with enrollment dips in only two of the years since, according to data from the district.
The largest increase by grade level was at the high school, which started classes with 1,126 students — 16 more than last year. There were four more students at the two junior high schools, which had a total enrollment of 1,220.
Cedar Falls’ six elementary schools had six fewer students, with an enrollment of 2,958.
The building with the single-largest increase, though, was Southdale Elementary School, which had 23 more students than on the first day last year. Cedar Heights Elementary School had 10 more students. The other four elementary schools saw decreases in enrollment, from 20 at Orchard Hill to two at Hansen.
Additionally, the district has 164 preschool students, up from 120 last year. There are limited spaces available for preschool. However, Pattee said the program was able to grow this year because “we’ve expanded some of our preschool opportunities for kids.”