Student enrollment is down across the state, and Alexandria Public Schools are no exception.
At the start of the fiscal year, Alexandria’s total enrollment is 4,053, which is down 113 from last year.
Trevor Peterson, the district's business director, acknowledged how unfortunate the school feels about enrollment decreasing but understands that the percentages are worse in other districts.
“We are hearing stories from across the state about those decreases being in double-digit percentages,” Peterson said to the school board at its Monday night meeting. “It’s even in the higher teens in some places. For us to be relatively lower than that is good news, all things considered.”
Of the students enrolled, 255 opted into the distance-learning program.
“That’s exciting for us to see,” Peterson said. “After this year, we will determine how that went and see if it’s going to be an option in the future.”
In kindergarten, there are 257 students in the classroom. That’s down by 45 students from an average school year. Peterson said that’s similar to what other districts are experiencing around the state.
One of the most significant discrepancies from last year to now is the 75 students currently homeschooled. Alexandria did take in six students that were homeschooled in the previous year. Alexandria also saw 34 students in the district move to non-public schools. Peterson said those were larger numbers than he typically sees.
On the encouraging side of enrollment, Alexandria had 33 new students open-enroll into the district compared to the 30 students that open-enrolled out.
“The enrollment is significant for our financial well-being. A lot of our general education needs, categorical stating, and levy revenue is based on the first-student formula,” Peterson said. “We will work to monitor and start understanding if this is a one-year thing. Of course, we understand that there are a lot of other things that can happen between now and next year that we can’t control. Hopefully, we will be able to figure out if we can expect to see an enrollment increase for next year.”