Hoosac Valley School District Enrollment Increases Slightly
CHESHIRE, Mass. — For the first time in several years, enrollment at the Hoosac Valley Regional School District has increased.
Total enrollment for the district is 1,027, a 10-student overall increase over last year. The most significant increases came in Grade 1, which went up 30 students; Grade 3, which grew by 26 students; and Grade 9, which increased by 25.
"I think there's some starts of encouraging trends that we hope to continue," said Superintendent Aaron Dean, who updated the School Committee on the numbers at Monday's meeting. "We're working hard to try to be a match for students in our community and improve our programs."
Dean said a lot of work is going into retention and getting the school more integrated into the community.
"We are a resource for the community," he said. "We are the hope for a lot of our young people. So it's the most important work. It's the hardest work that I see, right now, with everything that's going on in the world. So it's important for us to really look at ways we can connect with the community and change things."
Dean also presented the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System tests and accountability data for the district, saying the district had typical growth across all subject areas. He noted that students had not taken a full testing regiment since 2019 because of the pandemic.
"A lot of the work we're doing and have started and are digging deeper into really does align with the needs," Dean said. "I think we've done a really solid job of looking at our local data, past MCAS past data and other data points to build plans that address the areas that need discussion."
One area he said the school is focusing on is dealing with absenteeism, with 13 percent of the district's students missing 20 percent or more of school days. He said numerous issues, including absences caused by COVID-19, impacted this, and the district is working to bring up attendance numbers.
Committee member Michael Henault asked about the possibility of an intermediate school for the middle-grade levels. Dean said it is something that is actively being discussed and looked at.
"I'm not sure about the structures we currently have in place ... there will be a research base behind that decision. We're not just going to do it because it feels good," he said.
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