Fourteen fewer students are enrolled in Anaconda schools, but Dillon numbers have held fairly steady since the last count in December.
Anaconda started the 2013-2014 term with 1,058 students, but that number has dropped 14 students to 1,044.
The current count includes 35 students enrolled at the new AWARE Center for Excellence and pre-school students. The current total includes Dwyer Elementary, 222 (down from 224 in December count); Lincoln Elementary, 241 (245); Fred Moodry Middle School, 239 (235); and Anaconda High School, 307 (299). The winter enrollment numbers from December, listed in parentheses, do not include 27 AWARE Center for Excellence students.
Superintendent Tom Darnell said the steady decline is primarily due to larger class sizes moving through the system and being replaced by smaller class sizes.
At Beaverhead County High in Dillon, Superintendent Fred Chouinard said enrollment has been steady. The count is 346, compared to 350 earlier this winter and 349 last fall. Last year, it was 352.
Chouinard attributes the steady enrollment to a stable local economy, thanks to employers University of Montana-Western, the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Forest Service, Barrett Hospital and Healthcare, Patagonia and agriculture.
Numbers at Dillon Elementary, a separate district, have held steady, too: spring, 681; winter, 691; and fall, 688, said Ramona Glaus, district clerk.
Elementary Superintendent Glen Johnson said about 3 percent of his student population is from migrant families who work area ranches.
“We bubble between 10 and 12 students each year,” Johnson added. “They are here in the fall, leave for the winter and return in the spring.”