(Fargo, ND) -- Thursday was a big day for the history of one of Fargo's most prestigious private institutions.
Oak Grove Lutheran School President Bob Otterson says the school has enrolled a record 654 students in kindergarten through 12th grade, the largest first-day group of students in those grades since Oak Grove opened its elementary school in fall 2005.
“Enrollment at Oak Grove has increased more than 30 percent from kindergarten through 12th grade over the past seven years,” Otterson said. “Parents tell school leaders that they value the small school community and strategic class sizes at the elementary school, student-teacher ratios around 14:1 for middle school and high school grades, and a timeless mission focused on academic achievement, faith and service to others.”
Overall, Oak Grove this year serves 729 students, including the preschool and pre-kindergarten children attending the Kjos Early Learning Center. The 729 stands as the school’s second-highest enrollment in its 116-year history.
Otterson also noted in a statement released to WDAY Radio a teacher retention rate of 92 percent at the school’s North Campus, serving grades 6-12, and a full roster of teachers at the South Campus, for students from age 3 through fifth grade, as data supporting Oak Grove as a school of choice for educational professionals.
Oak Grove for the past five years has been named the Number one private school in North Dakota and in the Fargo-Moorhead market by Niche, a company that studies how families make decisions about schools and colleges. Niche also ranks Oak Grove as North Dakota’s best Christian school and best private K-12 school. The ranking is based on factors such as test scores, student retention, teacher retention and higher education matriculation and completion.
The school started in 1906 as the Lutheran Ladies Seminary, a high school for girls that opened 14 years before their mothers were eligible to vote in the United States. Boys joined the student body in 1926.