Enrollment close to district projectionsEnrollment numbers for Alexandria School District 206 dipped – but not enough to alarm district leaders.
By: Celeste Beam, Alexandria Echo Press
Enrollment numbers for Alexandria School District 206 dipped – but not enough to alarm district leaders.
At Monday night’s regular school board meeting, Tom Wieczorek, District 206 business manager, informed administrators and board members that the district saw a slight drop in the number of students currently enrolled compared to what the district predicted for the 2008-2009 school year.
As of October 1, which is when the state requires school districts to have an official enrollment count conducted, there were 3,861 students – a decrease of 21 students according to the district’s projections of 3,882 students.
The biggest concern, Wieczorek told the board Monday night, is at the middle school level, which saw an enrollment of 302 students – a decrease of 19 from the district’s prediction of 321 students.
However, Wieczorek said that nearly half of the those 19 moved out of the District 206 area, some moving out of town or even out of state.
“This is not a normal trend,” he said. “But it seems that we have a more mobile society, where families move more often than they used to.”
In addition, he said the district didn’t pick up as many parochial students as predicted.
Wieczorek noted that the overall enrollment count for the current school year is within a little more than 0.5 percent of the district’s projections, which were calculated in February of 2007.
Annually, enrollment projections are calculated in February using the most current enrollment data available to assist the board in budget planning for the upcoming school year. This is done, Wieczorek said, to ensure that staff resources and financial resources are aligned to maintain a balanced budget.
The district uses a conservative approach to calculating enrollment projections using district enrollment history, birth rates for Douglas County and census data for 0 to 4 year olds.
“We’re still on that bubble right now with enrollment, which is where we can expect to experience slight dips in our total student enrollment primarily representative of the fact that larger graduating senior classes are moving out of the system, with smaller incoming kindergarten classes,” said Wieczorek.
He also added that other factors that affect enrollment, although they are more challenging to anticipate, relate to families with school-aged children moving in and out of the district – the more mobile society.
The district especially experienced this in 1st and 7th grades. However, kindergarten numbers came in higher than projected, which is a good sign, he said.
Kindergarten – 284 students projected, 290 students enrolled.
1-3 grades – 837 students projected, 830 students enrolled.
4-6 grades – 817 students projected, 804 students enrolled.
7-9 grades – 935 students projected, 919 students enrolled.
10-12 grades – 964 students projected, 973 students enrolled.
Total number of students projected – 3,882.
Total number of students enrolled as of October 1 – 3,861.