The downturn in Wyoming's energy sector slapped the economy.

Parents and students in the Natrona County School District slapped back.

The district reported today that its current enrollment is 12,961 students, a decrease of only four students from the same time last year.

"We're pleasantly surprised," district spokesman Allen Bruggman said Wednesday.

In light of the hits to the oil and coal industries and the number of area parents involved in those industries, district officials thought fewer people -- and students -- would be here for the 2016-2017 academic year, Bruggman said.

"So the fact that there's only four less students is a very good number for us to see this morning," he said.

Bruggman did not know whether the enrollment numbers were a result of people staying, or an equal number of people moving to and from Natrona County, he said.

The number of students in kindergarten was especially impressive, with nearly 1,100 in the class for an increase of 20 over September 2015, he said.

That helped offset the overall elementary enrollment in K-fifth grades, which is 6,256 students, a decrease of 132 students.

But secondary enrollment -- sixth through 12th grades -- is 6,705, an increase of 128 students.

These figures result in the net overall decrease of four students.

Each year, enrollment figures are analyzed on the 10th classroom day of the school year, which is Sept. 14 this year. State law requires school districts to drop students from enrollment who do not attend classes for 10 consecutive days. This method gives the most accurate look at the number of students who are actively attending NCSD schools.

These are the 10-day enrollment figures for the past five academic years:

  • 2016-2017: 12,961.
  • 2015-2016: 12,965.
  • 2014-2015: 13,106.
  • 2013-2014: 12,804.
  • 2012-2013: 12,722.