Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Oklahoma public school enrollment increases

OKLAHOMA CITY (Jan. 11, 2012) – Annual enrollment numbers provided to the State Department of Education by each public school district and charter school site in Oklahoma, show that pre-Kindergarten through grade 12 enrollment for the current school year is 666,150 – an increase of 6,535 students over the 2009-10 school year and 27,128 more students than five years ago. 
“As our enrollment grows, so must our commitment grow to ensure each student in this state graduates college, career and citizen ready,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Janet Barresi. “With our new Teacher and Leader Evaluation plan in its pilot year, our Achieving Classroom Excellence standards in effect and other important reforms on the way toward implementation, we are moving toward this goal.”
The 2011-12 data shows that Oklahoma’s student population is 53 percent white, 17 percent American Indian, 13 percent Hispanic, 10 percent black, 5 percent two or more races, and 2 percent Asian, Hawaiian or Pacific Islander.
The state serves 39,772 four-year-olds in prekindergarten programs with 26,390 in full-day Pre-K classes.

This year, about 96 percent of students are in full-day kindergarten. As part of the Achieving Classroom Excellence Act of 2005, all Oklahoma public schools are required beginning in the 2012-13 school year to offer full-day kindergarten programs unless they qualify for an exemption. 
“It is so important that we reach children at this early age so we can begin teaching literacy and other skills that will be necessary as they progress through school,” Barresi said. “It also is vitally important that we identify children who may be struggling in certain areas so we can get them the help they need at the earliest possible moment.”
The largest school districts in the state remain Oklahoma City Public Schools, with an enrollment of 43,492 students, and Tulsa Public Schools, with 41,199 students. The top 10 districts ranked by enrollment size shuffled a bit this year, with Norman surpassing Union to take the No. 8 spot, leaving Union and Midwest City-Del City in the No. 9 and No. 10 spots, respectively. Tulsa, Lawton and Mid-Del were down slightly in enrollment numbers this year. 

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