Hesperia Unified has completed the first week of its 2011-2012 school year, although not all families within the district may have been aware of it.
"Our warm body count, we're about 1,100 students below projections," Superintendent Mark McKinney said Friday afternoon. "Last year, on the first day of school, we were 1,000 students below projections."
But enrollment numbers typically do catch up, he said.
"Last year, the difference between day one and two, we grew about 100 kids" enrolled, he said. "This year, we grew about 300 kids. ... I'm not panicked yet, but it is something we want to keep an eye on."
As for those who have showed up, another ritual of the new school year is playing out: lots and lots of parents picking up and dropping off their students during the first week of school.
"We have greater parent traffic in front of our schools, so trying to create the best traffic flow and the safety of our students and our parents -- that's something we're working on," said McKinney. "By the second day, third day, fourth day, 'OK, we've got it down to a routine, we'll let them walk, ride their bike, ride the bus.'"
The numbers of students being picked up and dropped off this year is likely higher, he said, as the district is enforcing previously approved ranges on who is eligible for busing.
Overall, though, McKinney characterizes the first week of school as a "smooth start" to the new school year at the Victor Valley's largest school district.
"Yeah, we what the traffic issue, but the parents, they're happy kids are back in school, the kids are happy to be back, the staff is happy back," he said. "It's a very positive feeling to be back in the swing of things."
Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 760-956-7108 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.