Billings, Montana – Superintendent Greg Upham stated during a Monday board meeting that Billings School District 2 had 16,945 total enrolled kids, down approximately 300 elementary school students from the previous school year.
According to Upham, the district’s high schools have seen a 300-student rise.
“It doesn’t appear that there’s so much moving to homeschool or moving away, but that larger numbers of classes moved into the middle school and into the high school,” said Upham.
Another factor for the decline in students, according to Upham, might be the new Lockwood high school. According to Upham, the Billings school district lost between 125 and 150 students each high school grade level, with the kids attending Lockwood High School rather than being dispersed across the Billings district.
“That’s a significant amount of students moving to Lockwood, but at the same time still having enrollment that’s up 300 plus in the high school from 2019-20. I like to use the 2019-20 (year) because it’s pre-COVID and it was prior to a lot of disruption that occurred. But it appears to me that there’s stabilization,” said Upham.
Virtual learning is being used by 120 students across the district this year, according to Upham. Elementary school has 45 virtual students, middle school has 24 virtual students, and high school has 51 virtual students.
Around 2,500 students were enrolled in a more robust online learning program last year.