Parkland has a Drop in Kindergarten Enrollment
Based on projections, kindergarten enrollment in the Parkland School District will likely be under 500 students for the first time in at least 10 years.
Kindergarten enrollment in the Parkland School District is down.
Based on new registrations in March, kindergarten enrollment for the 2012-2013 school year is projected to be at 482 students across the district's eight elementary schools, Assistant Superintendent Rod Troutman said.
If the projection holds, it will be the first time in at least 10 years that the district's kindergarten enrollment is under 500 students, he said.
He said enrollment also was down among students who live in the district but attend parochial and other non-public schools.
"I think the economy slowed growth," Troutman said. While the Parkland area is a desirable area to live, he said, people are not buying homes at the past pace, especially if they have homes to sell elsewhere before they can buy anew inside the district.
If kindergarten enrollment reaches 482 students for the 2012-2013 school year, that would reflect a decrease of 31 students from the current school year and a decrease of 54 kindergarten students from a decade ago, according to information provided by the district.
That's significant, Troutman said, when considering kindergarten class sizes of about 18 students. It would mean at least two less kindergarten teachers would be needed.
The district is planning staff cuts as it prepares next year's budget. As teachers and staff retire, the district is reviewing which positions will need to be replaced and which do not. Given the enrollment decrease, he said, some cuts will be warranted.
As of March, 432 students district-wide had so far registered for next year's kindergarten classes, which are half-day programs. Here is a breakdown:
- Cetronia, 63
- Kratzer, 42
- Parkway Manor, 43
- Schnecksville, 55
- Fogelsville, 44
- Ironton, 66
- Jaindl, 75
- Kernsville, 44
Troutman says enrollment usually increases 7 percent from kindergarten to first grade.
The Parkland School District currently has 9,255 students enrolled in kindergarten through 12th grade, the district says.
Overall, enrollment is up from a decade ago (8,239 students were enrolled in the 2001-2002 school year) but down 113 students from three years ago (9,368 students were enrolled in the 2008-2009 school year.)