Wood County private schools see attendance dip

PARKERSBURG – Enrollment figures in Wood County’s private schools are down slightly from 2012, but not a cause for panic, officials said.

Parkersburg Catholic High School is about the same as last year, with 153 students (7-12) enrolled. The elementary is down about five to eight students, with 152 kids enrolled in classes, Principal Kevin Simonton said.

“We are probably the same as everyone else; lose a little, gain some,” he said. “Overall, we stayed pretty consistent.”

Simonton said typically, the elementary has around 160 kids, but that has dropped a little. He cited a small third grade class of just eight students.

He noted the school has large fourth and sixth grade classes. Both classes are maxed out with 28 kids in each, he said. And the fifth grade has 25 students.

North Christian School, which had 72 kids last year, has 71 enrolled this year. The school educates children grades K-6. Tia Brown, school secretary, said the school plans to add seventh grade next year and eighth grade in 2014-2015.

Brown said the school has 15 children in the kindergarten class, the majority of which moved up from the Early Learning Center.

Robert Smith, principal at Wood County Christian, said enrollment is once again more than 300 students (K4-12), but it is down about a dozen students. The decline is primarily at the K4 level, he said.

“I’m not sure if it is due to a lot of churches and the state having programs,” Smith said. “But otherwise, we are in pretty good shape. Pretty stable.

“We had more economic issues with families this year,” he added. “It is sad, but it is a fact.”

Mike Fling, assistant superintendent for Wood County public schools, said the enrollment is slightly down. Wood County has about 13,200 students this year.

Enrollment reports won’t be submitted until October, Fling said.