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Mass influx of new students? Lake of the Ozarks area schools say ‘not really’

Published: Aug. 21, 2020 at 4:51 PM CDT
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CAMDENTON, Mo. (KY3) - Families in the Camdenton School District had a choice for the fall semester: In person classes for their students, or virtual learning.

Masks aren’t required to be worn in the classroom, and that’s appealing to some families.

“We’ve had a few families as they enroll, have said, ‘hey, you guys are going five days a week, you don’t have to wear a mask, we’re going to move here,’ and have moved here,” said Dr. Julie Dill, Assistant Superintendent of the Camdenton R-3 School District.

The more relaxed COVID-19 restrictions led to a lot of speculation that there would be a mass influx of new students to school districts around the lake.

”I heard that rumor earlier in the summer, and we were kind of bracing for it,” Dill acknowledged. “We just haven’t seen it.”

Dill said in each of the last two years, the district saw about 100 fewer kids than the year before. On Friday, she ran the numbers comparing the current enrollment to what the school district saw at the end of last year.

Right now, there is a net increase of 65 students.

”It looks like at the elementary level is where we’re seeing more of our new students coming in,” Dill said.

That net increase of 65 could very likely drop.

”I think probably half of that 65 are going to be people who have already moved, but their school district just hasn’t requested records yet,” Dill said.

So, while there will be new faces in classrooms this year, there really isn’t much of a change in the total number of students.

”When you look at enrollment numbers, its really staying pretty flat,” Dill said.

Dr. Laura Nelson, Superintendent of School of the Osage, said her district has also not seen a huge increase in the total number of students in the district because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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