This week is a big one for area students, with most heading back for another 10 months of reading, learning, applying, and growing — whether at the elementary, high school, secondary level or post-secondary level, or at one of the area’s parochial schools.
While I don’t yet have the official enrollment numbers, administrators at Triad have cited the expectation of more growth, judging by early enrollment figures, which was the case last year as well. Other schools in the county, as I recall, have been trending upward over the past few years, a fact that steady speaks well for the area I think.
Last year’s public education student enrollment total for the state of Illinois was just over 2 million students — 2,001,548 to be exact. That total has dropped by roughly 53,000 students since 2015 — perhaps not all that surprising given that the state’s population as a whole has been dropping. In 2015 the total student population was at 2,054,556 (data is from the Illinois State Board of Education’s Illinois Report Card.
Whatever the trend, it’s probably not over yet. The total in 2014, for example, was lower than in 2015, at 2,046,857, which could suggest that it’s cyclical or at minimum unpredictable.
The start of school is exciting for those of us at the newspaper for a couple of reasons, 1) Some of us have kids of our own in school, and 2) The start of school means more exciting and interesting events to cover! Please, if you know of something exciting happening at your school, let us know. If we can’t make it, feel free to snap a picture or two, jot down some notes about the event, and send it our way by email, social media, or regular mail.
To all the student returning for another year: keep your head up, study hard, and do your best! You won’t regret it!