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Byram Hills Sees Surge In Kindergarten Enrollment

ARMONK, N.Y. – A quick glance at the Byram Hills school district’s enrollment will show only a minor change from last year. In fact, the district is set to have 15 fewer students than last year. But Byram Hills expects its largest kindergarten class in years, which could make major alterations in the future.

“Kindergarten is important, because if this class moves through the school system and there’s no further changes, then it will be easy to adjust,” said Superintendent Bill Donohue. “However, if the trend continues, then we may be required to add some new hires.”

This school year the Byram Hills Central School District expects 2,637 students, down from 2,652 last year. But it expects 190 kindergarten students this year, up from 164 last year. The additional 26 students required the district to add an additional section and retain a teacher who otherwise would have been let go, Donohue said. The spike in kindergarten enrollment broke the trend of the past few years.

“We’ve seen numbers that have been pretty steady in kindergarten over the last couple years since 2008 with the downturn of the housing market,” Donohue said. “It’s the difference between a blip and a trend, we don’t know at this point whether or not it will continue.”

If it does continue, Donohue said, the district probably would have to add teachers at the higher grade levels to keep class sizes steady as the children move through the higher grades.

The new kindergarten class and the rest of the students begin their year when the schools open on Tuesday, Sept. 4.

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