BILLINGS — At the latest count, Billings School District 2 had 16,945 total enrolled students, down by about 300 elementary school students compared to the 2019-2020 school year, said Superintendent Greg Upham at a Monday board meeting.
Upham said the district saw about a 300-student increase in the high schools.
"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," Upham said.
Upham said another reason for the drop in students could be the new high school in Lockwood. Upham said the Billings schools lost between 125 and 150 students per high school grade level, with the students attending Lockwood High School instead of spread out in the Billings school 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," Upham said.
There are 120 students across the district in virtual learning this year, Upham said. Breaking down the virtual students, elementary has 45 students, middle school has 24 students and high school has 51 virtual students.
Last year, there were about 2,500 students enrolled in a more robust remote learning platform.