Sherrard school district adding extra kindergarten classrooms because of high enrollment

SHERRARD, Illinois-- Summer is almost over which means parents, kids, and teachers are preparing for back to school.

But one school district wasn't prepared to receive an overwhelming number of kindergartners.

"We were keeping an eye on the numbers but with the online registration and some unexpected walk-ins and transfers it did surprise us a little bit," says Sherrard Principal Konnie Fry.

Last year the school district had 94 kids enrolled and this year it's risen to 105.

It was enough for the school board to vote on adding two additional classes to each elementary school in the district.

Both Winola and Sherrard Elementary will increase from two to three classes. But school leaders all agree it's a good thing.

"Increased enrollment is actually a good thing for our district we look at it as a sign of health," says Superintendent Alan Boucher.

Boucher says when the attendance rates go up so does the funds for school.

"Our general state aid is based on our daily attendance," says Boucher.

The school will have to hire two new teachers and paraprofessionals. It could cost the school up to $130,000 dollars depending on the experience of the teacher.

The district had to dip into it's reserves since Illinois schools haven't received funding for the year. 

"Our district thankfully has a lot of cash reserves right now. And we're able to weather the storm as long as they get something worked out in the near future. We would hate to see something like this carry over to the second semester even the end of the school year," says Boucher.

The third classrooms are setup and ready for the school year and Boucher says they hope to hire staff as soon as possible. In the meantime a substitute will teach the classes.