Enrollment at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School has increased this year, while numbers at Island elementary schools have dropped slightly overall, according to the results of the annual October school census.

Total enrollment in the public schools K-12 has decreased this year, with 2,151 students enrolled as of Oct. 1, compared to 2,171 students as of October last year.

At the high school, 30 new students have driven the school’s total population up to 701 since the census was last recorded in 2019. Principal Sara Dingledy said high school enrollment is the highest it has been since she began at the school four years ago.

The increase is part of a steady trend of enrollment increases at the high schools, Ms. Dingledy told the Gazette by phone Friday.

“There was an increase projected so I don’t think it’s totally surprising,” she said. “It’s an upward trend of bigger freshman classes than graduating classes.”

According to the census, the largest classes currently in the high school are grades 10 and 12, where a total of 192 and 175 students are enrolled respectively. The 10th grade has received 11 new students since last year, while the senior class has received five.

Ms. Dingledy said the new students come from a variety of demographics — some are recent new residents of the Island, while others are local students who have transferred from other schools, like the Martha’s Vineyard Public Charter School.

This year, unlike previous years, however, the school has not seen a significant increase in the number of students immigrating from Brazil.

“Last year, in January and in September, we had a lot of students who were coming to us from Brazil for the first time, but we don’t have that this year,” said Ms. Dingledy. “I think this was just part of what seems to be the uptick in populations coming up from the elementary schools.”

The final census at the high school is still in flux, Ms. Dingledy said, noting changes to the total tally since the census in October. As of Friday, the total number of high school students was 692, Ms. Dingledy said, still 21 students higher than in 2019. The change largely reflects students who already left the school but were not yet removed from the official school roster in October, she said.

Meanwhile, enrollment at all five Island elementary schools has seen slight declines.

A total of 1,450 students are enrolled in grades K-8 this year, compared with 1,500 in 2019.

The numbers counter predictions early this fall that enrollment would go up due to seasonal residents who have remained on-Island for the pandemic. But census data tells a different story.

Islandwide, grades two, three and four have seen slight drops by a margin of three or five students, while enrollment in the upper and middle school grades has dropped notably since last year.

Islandwide, there are 10 fewer sixth graders this year, and 19 fewer seventh graders. Islandwide, there are 11 fewer fifth graders.

School by school, the Tisbury School has 16 fewer students enrolled this year over last year, while the Oak Bluffs School has 12 fewer. The Edgartown School has seven fewer students, West Tisbury has 10 fewer and Chilmark saw its enrollment drop by five students, according to the census.

Superintendent schools Matthew D’Andrea could not be reached for comment Friday.

At the high school, Ms. Dingledy said the uptick in students will likely not affect the school’s annual operating budget, noting that school census data normally doesn’t affect administrative decisions until a year or so after it is released. “It’s a lagging indicator,” she said.

In a follow-up message Friday, Ms. Dingledy added that the school plans to adjust programming and budgeting as needed to meet the demands of the larger student body.

“The story is that we are a growing, not shrinking school . . . Our main priority is to shift resources towards the populations that are growing or neediest and we have that each year. We will do it again as we absorb this enrollment boost,” Ms. Dingledy said.