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Back To The Books School Is In Session
0814 School Start 1
First grader Melanie Cancino, right, meets her new teacher Jane Holmes at Sierra View Elementary School on the first day of class on Aug. 8. Dawn M. Henley/The Leader

This week represents the first full week of school – it started Aug. 8 – and the enrollment numbers in the Oakdale Joint Unified School District are still fluid, moving up and down.

OJUSD Superintendent Marc Malone reported that as of Friday, Aug. 9, the second day of school, there were 5,308 students enrolled, up by 18 students from the same time last school year with 5,290. The bulk of the increase in enrollment numbers has been seen at Oakdale High School.

“They will continue to fluctuate fairly well into next week,” Malone said on Friday.

In fact, he added, the school district will see a fluctuation in the numbers through Labor Day.

“This is about the 15th year of school starting in August,” Malone said. “There’s still the perception out there that school doesn’t start until after Labor Day.”

He noted that the earlier start to school allows students to finish their semester finals before Christmas vacation, instead of after the break. He said most all schools in the area now start in August because they see the value. He said that there may be 10 to 15 students throughout the district who show up to start school after Labor Day.

“The unfortunate thing for these (late) students, especially this year, is they’re three-and-a-half weeks behind,” Malone said, adding that kindergarten through twelfth grade students are well on their way into curriculum by that point.

Even with the publication of the information about the start of school through newspapers, television news broadcasts, websites, and letters sent out from the district, the message somehow doesn’t seem to get through to everyone.

Malone said that the schools are still in the process of “cleaning up” enrollment, noting that some students may have moved away but didn’t tell the district.

“As we move forward, these numbers will change…fairly significantly, 20 to 25 kids, as we move into next week,” Malone reported.

However, he added that the really solid enrollment numbers are determined after Labor Day.