Sandusky Schools kicked off the 2014-15 school year Monday with exciting news — its student body is still growing.
For the second straight year, the district is projecting a significant increase in enrollment, according to figures released at a Monday school board meeting.
About 100 additional students enrolled in the district this year for a total of about 3,400 students, up from 3,301 students at the same time this past year.
The figures indicate a 3 percent enrollment increase.
"This is very exciting," school board president Tom Patterson said. "There is no stronger vote of confidence than for parents and students to select our schools as educational institutions of choice."
Until this past school year, enrollment at Sandusky Schools was on a downward spiral, decreasing by more than 1,200 students overall in a 13-year span.
In the 2012-13 school year, enrollment bottomed out at about 3,080 students.
In a Monday news release, superintendent Eugene Sanders attributed the second year of growing numbers to several key factors district-wide:
•Embracing a culture of customer service.
•Forming a Retention and Recruitment Committee to encourage parent and student feedback.
•Hosting a Parent Summit.
•Implementing the district's Transformation Plan.
In addition, board member Kate Vargo cited the district's strong academic programs as another key recruitment tool.
"We want to continue our retention and recruitment efforts, and look forward to continued growth," Sanders said.
Sandusky Schools will submit its official enrollment numbers to the Ohio Department of Education the first week of October, and the figure released Monday is expected to slightly increase, Sanders said.
Community meetings planned
As enrollment at Sandusky Schools continues to increase, officials agree feedback is key.
They plan to host a series of community meetings this fall regarding the district's Transformation Plan and proposed bond issue, and they're encouraging everyone to attend.
The district is proposing a 3.94-mill, 37-year bond issue on the Nov. 4 ballot to fund two new school buildings and other district improvements.
The first meeting will be Sept. 3 at Hancock Elementary School, Sanders said.
A complete list of community meetings will be available later this week, and meetings will likely take place at each of the district's school buildings, as well as other public venues, he said.