Enrollment at Stanley School is expected to reach 19 students when classes begin Aug. 26.
Challis School District Superintendent Lani Rembelski reported to board members last week that there will be at least one student in each grade, except sixth, this fall. That compares to nine students who attended school in Stanley at the end of last year and an anticipated enrollment of 10 this fall. It’s possible a 20th student will still enroll, Rembelski said. And, two students are committed to attending the second semester of the year in Stanley, with plans to enroll in January.
In a separate interview from the meeting, Rembelski said the additional students are from families who have more than one home, including properties in Stanley. The school districts where they normally would be enrolled this fall have opted for remote learning or some other option of education because of the coronavirus pandemic, so their parents chose to have their children attend in-person classes in Stanley.
Because of the enrollment boost, the staff at the Stanley School is growing, too. While there have been two teachers in Stanley for years, neither was a full-time district employee. The staffing has ranged from two half-time positions, which were counted as one full-time equivalent, to one full- and one half-time employee, totaling 1.5 FTEs. Earlier this year, Rembelski was planning for 1.6 FTEs in Stanley for the fall semester.
But because of the enrollment swing, this year there will be three teachers who will work a combined 2.1 FTE hours. The district receives state funding based on FTE counts, which Rembelski expects to cover all, or at least most, of the increased salary costs in Stanley. If enrollment drops steeply this year, teacher contracts will be amended to reduce the number of FTEs.
Amanda Brady, who had been the paraprofessional in Stanley, joins Lisa Muscavage and Ashley Reese to make up the teaching staff in Stanley this fall.