Headcount numbers down at Sumner County school districts

By Sam Jack

USD 359 Argonia and USD 356 Conway Springs recently tallied the number of enrolled students in their districts.

The headcount numbers are important, since they affect the amount of state aid the districts receive.

In Argonia, the headcount for 2019-2020 is 169 students, down nine compared to 2018-2019.

“We are mainly down in our elementary school, with fewer incoming preschool-age children,” said Dr. Julie McPherron, district superintendent and principal of Argonia Elementary School.

Argonia’s number is down quite a bit compared to 2016-2017, when the headcount jumped to 191, but it is still higher than 2015-2016, when the school district’s headcount hit an all-time low of 166, according to Kansas Department of Education data.



Conway Springs superintendent Clay Murphy said that his district is looking at a headcount of 415 – down about 15 compared to last year.

“We expected a drop, simply from graduating a larger class at the high school and having smaller classes in the lower grades,” Murphy said. “We keep an eye on this each and every year, and have seen smaller class sizes, so we have always planned ahead when looking at numbers to adjust our staff accordingly.”