Seymour Community School Corp. sees enrollment increase

With the first three months of school completed, Seymour Community School Corp. has seen an increase in enrollment, up from the past few years.

Steve Nauman, the corporation’s business manager, reported in August that enrollment numbers for the 2021-22 school year were difficult to forecast after last year and the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We do expect to start growing again in the future,” Nauman said. “Enrollment continues to grow at a rate of 100 to 200 students per year.”

At this point, he said he has no reason to believe this trend will change any time soon, and SCSC will probably grow only about 25 students in early 2022 because of senior midterm graduates.

In October, Nauman said he had a draft of the student enrollment report, but he was still finalizing the average daily membership numbers.

“We had expected the enrollment number this year to be 5,270, which is a good place to be,” he said. “Remember last year, we didn’t grow at all, and now, we’re growing again and things have turned around for us, hopefully.”

During the Nov. 9 school board meeting, Nauman announced this year’s enrollment for Seymour schools is even more than he had expected at 5,309 students, up 122 students from 2020.

The ADM on Oct. 1 was 5,261, and then on Nov. 1, there was a decrease of 26 students, bringing the ADM to 5,235. Seymour elementary schools had 2,438, the middle school (grades 6 through 8) was at 1,201 and the high school had 1,596 students enrolled.

Since October, the enrollment numbers were down 17 at the elementary schools, 17 at the high school and up eight for the middle school. Nauman said it’s unusual for the middle school’s student count to change like that.

Superintendent Brandon Harpe said he’s happy with the growth and anticipates the trend will continue.

“Jackson County was the seventh fastest growing county in Indiana, according to the last census, and we are excited to provide services to all children,” he said.

Harpe said Seymour’s dual credit programs have brought in students to earn college credit and ultimately save money on college.

“Our CTE (career technical education) programs, work-based learning, JAG (Jobs for America’s Graduates), etc., are leading to networking and jobs for our students,” he said. “We meet with local industry leaders and are trying to do our part to connect graduates to potential employers and help with the labor shortage.”

Harpe said the expansion project at school buildings will help address some of the space needs and also will allow the corporation to add some new Next Level Graduation Pathways, which will benefit the students, industries and community.

The new central enrollment for Seymour schools was introduced Nov. 1 at the Seymour Central Service Center, 1420 Corporate Way.

“We are off to a good start and have enrolled 10 students at the SCSC building,” Harpe said.

He also said they added 25 teachers and 21 teaching assistants this year, but there are still openings and employment opportunities, which can be found on the SCSC website,