By Conrad Dudderar
More personnel are still being hired as Yukon Public Schools’ student enrollment is expected to reach a record high to start the 2022-23 school year.
The first day of school is Thursday, Aug. 11 as more new parents enroll their children in the district’s 12 sites. Housing growth across Yukon school district boundaries continues to increase enrollment figures.
YPS Superintendent Dr. Jason Simeroth expects the school district to educate 9,200-9,300 students in 2022-23.
“It’s entirely possible we’ll have to try to hire teachers after the school year starts because of the numbers,” Simeroth shared.
YPS enrollment surpassed 9,100 for the first time ever in 2021-22.
Parents who want to enroll children in YPS must have their proof-of-residency documents submitted no later than the second day of school.
“Our responsibility as a district is to provide the education for the people who are paying for it,” Simeroth said. “We educate everybody in our district who lives here that comes in.
“Yukon is a great school district, and oftentimes we have people that will make efforts to be here when they should be in other districts. We have to be very diligent about that, so we’re making sure we’re able to provide the best we can for the people in our community.”
YPS teachers have started preparing their classrooms as back-to-school activities get underway.
The Yukon school district is welcoming some 150 new certified staff who will be honored at Wednesday’s annual Yukon New Teacher Luncheon presented by the Yukon Chamber of Commerce inside The Progress Room, 10 W Main.
All other teachers will report Thursday in anticipation of the new school term one week away.
YPS has about 1,200 certified and support personnel, making it Yukon’s largest employer.
The Yukon school district is the second largest employer in Canadian County, behind only Mustang Public Schools.
Meanwhile, YPS has been recognized as one of Oklahoma’s Top Workplaces for six consecutive years.
‘SENSE OF NORMALCY’
After suffering through several school years impacted by COVID-19, Yukon school officials look forward to starting 2022-23 on the right foot.
“My hopes for this year are to get back to somewhat a ‘sense of normalcy’,” Simeroth said. “We are going to allow some more class parties and opportunities for parents to come in (the school buildings).
“With all the safety concerns that are out there, we’re still limiting access. It’s just prudent to do that. We want to keep our kids safe and have them feel safe so they can learn.”
Parents of pre-kindergarten through third grade students will be able to walk their children to the classrooms for the first seven days of school.
Parents of fourth and fifth graders can walk them to class on the first two days.
“That way, kids are comfortable, and parents are comfortable,” Simeroth said. “After that, it’s just a ‘drop-off’.”