Fulton County faculties blame pandemic for sharp drop in enrollment

The Fulton County faculty system noticed its largest drop in enrollment for this faculty 12 months of three,572 college students, as enrollment in Sandy Springs faculties fell by 422. The pandemic is blamed for a bigger drop than anticipated .

The varsity district had 3,310 fewer college students than anticipated, Yngrid Huff, govt director of the varsity district’s operational planning division, stated in a March 9 working session of the Fulton County Board of Schooling. Sandy Springs’ enrollment was 286 college students decrease than the varsity district anticipated, in accordance with the FCS annual enrollment projection report.

Enrollment at Fulton County faculties has been declining for the previous 4 years. (FCS)

“This irregular drop in enrollment may be attributed to enrollment points associated to the worldwide pandemic disaster, as many dad and mom grapple with choices about when and the place to enroll their youngsters, particularly older college students. younger individuals coming into main faculty, ”she stated.

The primary month enrollment for your entire faculty district for the 2020-2021 faculty 12 months was 90,376. It was 93,948 the earlier 12 months and 94,665 within the 2018-2019 faculty 12 months.

The report states that every one metropolitan districts have skilled a drop in enrollment for the 2020-2021 faculty 12 months as a result of impression of the COVID-19 pandemic.

FCS enrollments have been 3.53% decrease than anticipated, a proportion Huff stated the varsity district had not seen because the 2008 housing bubble burst.

Extra college students could also be enrolled in non-public faculties or be home-schooled. For personal faculties that report enrollment figures, the FCS calculated that non-public faculty enrollment elevated from 10,560 in 2018-2019, together with 11,121 in 2019-2020. For this faculty 12 months, 11,290 college students attended non-public faculties. Sandy Springs had greater than 3,700 college students enrolled in non-public faculties this faculty 12 months.

Dwelling education elevated 22% within the faculty district this 12 months with 2,594 college students from 2,127 a 12 months earlier. Sandy Springs turned the tide, with 250 homeschooled college students being 30 fewer than the 12 months earlier than.

Many college students depart non-public faculties to enroll in public faculty from the ninth grade.

“The redevelopment and affordability within the space is impacting future enrollments, whereas the return of personal faculties to Grade 9 seems to be the optimistic driver for enrollment,” Huff stated within the report.

“It appears like numerous children in Sandy Springs are going to non-public for faculty after which the ninth grade is the massive development right here, however I can not see that mirrored within the numbers,” stated Gail Dean, Member of the Board of Administrators.

In Sandy Springs, the most important drop in enrollment was seen in elementary faculties, with 368 fewer college students than the earlier faculty 12 months. Schools elevated enrollment by 22 college students, however excessive faculties noticed a decline of 76 college students. The entire enrollment within the metropolis’s faculties was 9,693 college students.

Faculties in North Fulton – the realm north of the Chattahoochee River – noticed a decline of two,348 college students to 46,764. Faculties in South Fulton fell by 802 college students to 33,919 college students.

Subsequent 12 months, FCS officers predict an enrollment enhance of 1.7%. Sandy Springs faculties are anticipated so as to add 29 college students. However by the 2025-2026 faculty 12 months, the district expects enrollment to drop to 729 college students within the metropolis. On this five-year forecast, the overall workforce would fall beneath 90,000.

Dean joined Board member Katie Reeves in expressing concern that itemizing projections within the coming years don’t mirror the housing market.

“If there’s an inexpensive residence available on the market in Sandy Springs, it is gone,” Dean stated. “I imply, it would not final two seconds, does it?”

The district makes use of the enrollment forecast for planning and budgeting functions. Quick-term estimates assist determine useful resource wants reminiscent of employees, textbooks, buses, groceries, and classroom wants reminiscent of modular or transportable lecture rooms. Lengthy-term estimates information the capital development plan and assist schedule development tasks.

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