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      Large incoming kindergarten class for Ottumwa School District to help enrollment numbers

      You will be seeing kids walking across the school cross walks and unloading from buses on Wednesday for the first day of school in the Ottumwa Community Schools District.

      With around 4,500 students in the district, Superintendent Davis Eidahl said that numbers have slowly dipped each year around 1/2 percent.

      â??But were excited about this big incoming kindergarten class to kind of stabilize or even increase our numbers,â?? said Eidahl.

      With bigger enrollment also comes the need for more resources.

      â??So ensuing that we have the resources in place and we have a very -- a policy, a guideline -- that we do as best to maintain small class sizes. So with a large kindergarten class coming in, just ensuing that we have the right amount of teachers and we can keep those class sizes small,â?? said Eidahl.

      Eidahl said the district continues to emphasize increasing graduation rates through early childhood programs and through that fifth and sixth-grade transition.

      â??And most important is the eighth and ninth-grade transition. So a lot of transition work, a lot of emphasis on raising our achievement and graduation rate and we also are doing that through focusing on improvement of culture and climate in our building,â?? said Eidahl.

      With the new elementary school set to open its doors in August of 2012, Eidahl said the district is already hard at work for next yearâ??s school year.