December 18, 2020
HELENA- Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen announced updated preliminary student enrollment numbers after all Montana school districts and counties submitted their data. The Office of Public Instruction (OPI) collects enrollment data from school districts each October and February.
“With all districts and counties accounted for, Montana continues to see a drop in public elementary school enrollment and an increase in public high school enrollment,” Superintendent Arntzen said Wednesday. “The OPI looks forward to continuing to work with local school administrators to analyze this data and determine the impacts of COVID-19 on student engagement and learning. We continue to engage Montana parents in determining the best way to ensure their child continues to receive educational services during these unprecedented circumstances. As Montana’s public schools have responded strongly to the COVID-19 pandemic we have also had multiple conversations with school leaders, legislators, and most recently with county superintendents
Montana’s public school enrollment numbers remain unchanged from the November 25th release. Montana saw a 3.8% decrease in K-8 public school enrollment and an increase of 2.1% public high school enrollment for a cumulative decrease of 1.8% (due to rounding) public school enrollment. That translates to 2,749 fewer students enrolled in public schools statewide. Updated private and homeschool data shows private schools saw a decrease of 3.1% or 245 fewer students enrolled. Students identified as homeschooled increased by 69.7% or 4,053 more students.
Schools have until December 31st to certify or change their data. The latest preliminary data spreadsheet can be found at this LINK.