BERNARDS TWP., NJ - The 2016-17 school year was off to a good start when 5,476 students returned to school on Tuesday, Sept. 6, Bernards School Superintendent Nick Markarian reported.

The total enrollment counted in the township school district as of the first day of school was 107 lower than at the start of the 2015-16 school year, with the largest decreases reported at the Mount Prospect and Oak Street elementary schools, according to the superintendent's figures. The figures count township kindergarten students through grade 12, but not preschool children, he said.

Enrollment up at two of the township's six schools

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Enrollment was up slightly at two of the township's six schools - rising by six from 1,901 to 1,907 students enrolled at Ridge High School; and at the Liberty Corner Elementary School, which reported 542 students on Tuesday, an increase of 16 above 527 as of Sept. 15, 2015.

The superintendent reported that students counted at the Cedar Hill School on the first day of school was 588, 15 less than 603 in Sept. 15, 2015; 564 at the Mount Prospect School, down by 40 from 604 in 2015; 511 at the Oak Street School, down by 39 from 550 in 2015; and 1,363 at the William Annin Middle School (grades 6 to 8), down by 35 from from 1,398 as of Sept. 15, 2015.

The school website lists district-wide enrollment at 5,717 for the 2014-15 school year. Enrollment during the past seven years peaked at 5,763 in the 2013-14 school year, according to township school figures, and is expected to continue declining for the next two school years, say predictions on the website.