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Enrollment steady at Summit schools

JANICE KURBJUN
summit daily news

This year’s student enrollment in Summit School District appears to be steady from the 2009-10 school year, said Julie McCluskie, climate and communication coordinator for Summit Schools.

The numbers aren’t final, but the count this year is 3,122 compared to 3,089 in last year’s pre-kindergarten to 12th grade population.

“It’s up very slightly,” McCluskie said. This year, 18 students in the alternative high school program, known as DOR, are being counted because they’ve become an official part of the school district. They were previously administered by the Board of Cooperative Education Services.



The adjusted number shows 15 new students this year.

“We see our student enrollment as flat,” McCluskie said. “It’s not so significant that we’re seeing a true change in student population.”



Student enrollment counts are important to district operations to ensure teachers and resources are properly allocated to each school based on class sizes, teacher-student ratio and building capacity. If there are dramatic increases, more staff could be hired. If there are decreases, district officials would have to reevaluate staffing and resource assets.

Additionally, the district’s state funding is dependent on student populations as set forth in the School Finance Act and its seven-page formula for determining “per-pupil operating revenue.” The formula seeks to balance the district’s size with its student population, its geographic location and cost of living in the area, to name a few items. Accordingly, the district’s budget is based on student enrollment projections.

Generally, per-pupil revenue increases each year with inflation and other factors, McCluskie said. However, last year’s state budget cuts meant a decrease in per-pupil funding in Summit County even though enrollment remained steady. The $1.4 million cut for Summit Schools means $355 less per student – the district has $7,205 per student in 2010-11.

Another important factor in enrollment counts is identifying the demographics of the student population, McCluskie said.

“We continue to have a significant population of English language learners,” she said, adding that there’s a high transient rate as well, with students moving in for the winter season. Students come and go up to four or five times in their school career, she said.

“It affects their learning and what we’ll be able to do as a district when they are in and out,” McCluskie said.

SDN reporter Janice Kurbjun can be contacted at (970) 668-4630 or at jkurbjun@summitdaily.com.


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