Posts Tagged ‘enrollment’

Third day enrollment records for the 2014-15 school year show the District has 3,553 elementary students–160 students higher than projected.

In 2012, the District hired a consultant who predicted elementary enrollment would decline to 3393 in 2014.  The consultant recommended closing an elementary school.  Last year’s elementary enrollment beat projections by 150 students and was the highest enrollment the District had seen in 15 years.  This year’s elementary enrollment is the 3rd highest in 15 years.
 
Third day enrollment records for the 2014-15 school year also show the impact of the new elementary class size policy, which was adopted in May 2014.
 
Under the new policy, the District is operating 158 elementary sections and no sections started the school year above the class size guidelines.  Compare this to 2012, when 11 sections started the school year above the class size guidelines because the District only operated 145 sections.
 
[Third day enrollment data: 2014 vs 2012]

Third day enrollment data: 2014 vs 2012

Class size guidelines are 25 students for grades K-2 and 30 students for grades 3-5.  The new class size policy states that the Administration shall determine the number of elementary sections in a manner that ensures that no section exceeds 29 students in 4th-5th grade, 27 students in 3rd grade, and 24 students in Kindergarten-2nd grade, when sections are created in early August.

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North Allegheny annual reports: Growing school enrollment strains capital projects budget

Enrollment continues to climb slightly in North Allegheny School District.  And, although the district’s 12 schools can handle the enrollment, capital projects will have to be done in order to keep the buildings in good shape.

To read more, click here.

North Allegheny school board OKs hires, promotions

North Allegheny school board members approved three administrative appointments, honored departing board members and heard more concerns from parents in Franklin Park and Marshall about proposed redistricting.

To read more, click here.

The two redistricting scenarios presented to the school board on October 23, 2013, will move considerably more elementary students than the redistricting scenario presented last year.

On November 14, 2012, the administration presented a redistricting scenario that only moved 264 elementary students if Peebles Elementary remained open. The same presentation showed 500-600 elementary students would be moved if Peebles Elementary were to close.

nov14balanceslide

Now the administration is proposing two scenarios that would redistrict 400 or more elementary students, despite the fact Peebles Elementary will remain open.  The October 23, 2013 presentation does not account for the number of middle schools students who would be impacted.

10.23presentation

These inconsistencies illustrate the need for more transparency surrounding the redistricting process. The administration has not released maps, enrollment projections, or other details upon which these scenarios are based.

The administration’s October 23, 2013 redistricting presentation may be viewed here.

The candidates endorsed by SaveNASchools are running on a platform for more transparency and more community involvement in the board’s decision-making processes. Please visit www.movenaforward.com to learn more.

Note: It’s extremely important that NA residents are aware of the special election for a 2-year board seat. The redistricting plan will be voted on by the new school board and Kevin Mahler is a strong advocate for the community.

At the school board meeting on Wednesday night, the administration presented two preliminary redistricting scenarios.

SaveNASchools believes that, prior to redistricting students, the administration needs to:

  1. acknowledge increasing enrollment trends, and
  2. adopt a new projection model

If the redistricting plan is not based on a model that accurately reflects enrollment trends, it will limit the district’s ability to administer equitable class sizes across all buildings.

Last year, the administration recommended closing Peebles Elementary School based on a projected decline in elementary enrollment in McCandless.  This year, there was a 60 student increase across Peebles (+15), Hosack (+20), and McKnight (+25).

The projection model used by the district to make 5-year enrollment forecasts has consistently underestimated actual enrollment.  In 2008, the district predicted an elementary enrollment of 3,182 students for the 2013-14 school year—400 students below the third-day enrollment of 3,582 students.

Oct 25 Chart1 elementary-page-001

SaveNASchools has endorsed candidates who are focused on improving projection models and creating more transparency around the board’s decision-making processes.  Please visit www.movenaforward.com to learn more.

North Allegheny Patch

The community group “Save NA Schools” says the most recent enrollment numbers, obtained under the “right to know” law, confirm what it campaigned more than a year for; closing an elementary school in the North Allegheny School District would lead to larger class sizes.

To read more, click here.

Based on the district’s records, obtained under the Right-to-Know Law, increased enrollment at the elementary level resulted in 10 additional elementary sections this year.

In 2012, the district started the school year with 145 elementary sections. This year, the district started the school year with 155 elementary sections.

This verifies what hundreds of residents across the district have stated—

  1. elementary enrollment is not declining, and
  2. empty classrooms came from operating classes above the district’s class size guidelines

20122013

The recommendation to close a building is based on a projected decline in elementary enrollment. However, based on the district’s records, the administration’s 5-year enrollment projections have understated actual enrollment by several hundred students.

The large discrepancy in projected enrollment v. actual enrollment for the last 3 years is a clear reason why no building in the district should be closed.

This information was obtained under the Right-to-Know Law:

May 15 Chart final

2010- 2011 Projected elementary enrollment = 3281

Projected 2010-2011 enrollment

2010-2011 Actual elementary enrollment =3526

actual 10-11

2011-2012 Projected elementary enrollment = 3275

projected 2011-2012 enrollment

2011-2012 Actual elementary enrollment = 3574

Actual 2011-2012 enrollment

2012-2013 Projected elementary enrollment = 3188

projected 2012-2013 enrollment

2012-2013 Actual elementary enrollment = 3531

Actual 2012-2013 enrollment

SaveNASchools believes North Allegheny is a thriving district, not a district in decline. We believe that if we continue to (1) hire top-quality teachers, (2) offer top-ranking programs, (3) provide a top-notch education, (4) implement new ideas, and (5) make sound decisions, the district will continue to flourish.

1. Teachers and class size play an important role in the learning process. We do not support the district’s decision to hire fewer teachers and operate 13 elementary sections above the district’s class size guidelines.

2. Programs such as music, GOAL, and ESAP are integral to the elementary curriculum. We do not support cuts to these programs because they are essential in developing the breadth and depth of the whole student.

3. The closure of any building will require the remaining buildings to operate with higher enrollments and fewer spare classrooms than we’ve ever operated at in the past.  We do not support an education model that will limit the district’s ability to manage class size and displace programs integral to the elementary curriculum.

4. The district needs a long-term plan that is focused on moving the district forward and generating new revenue.  We do not support the district’s position that we have to cut teachers, cut programs, and close a building because of economic challenges.  The challenges we have relate to the district failing to establish a reserve for PSER contributions and choosing to raise taxes instead of forging ahead with new revenue initiatives (e.g. creating a STEM education program that is open to non-district residents).

5. The district should adhere to a best practices model when making significant decisions. We do not support the district’s decision to (i) ignore a petition with 1,000+ taxpayer signatures requesting a community task force, (ii) hire a consultant who donated his services after being involved in a lawsuit with the district, and (iii) rely on enrollment projections that have underestimated elementary enrollment for the last several years.

In summary, SaveNASchools supports teachers, programs, class size guidelines, long-term planning, and best practices to keep our district strong.  We want North Allegheny to preserve what is great about our district while promoting new ideas that will make it even better.

 

In the fall of 2011, when Bradford Woods was being considered for closure, School Board Member Linda Bishop stated, “I think the new housing plays a greater role, almost, in predicting what’s going on and what’s going to happen than the live birth data.”

Click on the link to watch the video.

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Elementary Enrollment Trends

2011: Board members express concern about enrollment projections

School Board President’s Comments on Growth and Closing a Building

Community group questions North Allegheny enrollment projections

In the fall of 2011, when Bradford Woods was being considered for closure, School Board Vice President Dan Hubert challenged the administration’s declining enrollment projections and noted that elementary enrollment has “increased.”

Mr. Hubert said, “I don’t think we’re going to see the decrease in enrollment that is being projected.”

Click on the link to watch the video.

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Related posts:

Elementary Enrollment Trends

2011: Board members express concern about enrollment projections

School Board President’s Comments on Growth and Closing a Building

Community group questions North Allegheny enrollment projections