Student enrollment projected to drop in high school district

By From page B1 | February 06, 2013

A tiny bump, then a gradual decline leading to stabilization is the 10-year projection for El Dorado Union High School District student enrollment, according to a demographic study by SchoolWorks, Inc.

Each year after the California Basic Educational Data System (CBEDS) is updated with current data, new enrollment projections are calculated. Using current and historical student enrollment records, birth rates for the past 10 years, projected new housing developments and school site facilities utilization as well as school boundaries and attendance patterns, SchoolWorks Inc. compiled a 10-year projection of student enrollment for the El Dorado Union High School District.

Until 2006, student enrollment in the district was slowly growing, but in the last six years it has experienced a gradual decline. According to the SchoolWorks analysis, the district should increase by four students in the next school year, with the most growth at grade 12 and the biggest decline at grade 9.

From the 2014-2015 school year through the 2017-2018 school year, student enrollment is projected to decline once more, assuming no new housing units are added to the projected development of 1, 841 units over the next six years. From  2018-2023, the enrollment should stabilize at a lower level than the current level.

Student enrollment projections are used to determine staffing and facility needs.

“In years when we are declining slowly, the impact on staff and facilities is not critical, but in 2005, when the district was growing a great deal we were looking at a fifth high school,” said Baldev Johal, associate superintendent of business services for EDUHSD.”The demographic study gives us a good indication of when we might need to ramp up for a new high school.”

According to the 10-year projections, that won’t be any time soon.EDUHSD has a total capacity of 8,015 students with a current enrollment of 6,892. By the 2022-2023 school year the district enrollment is projected to be 6,535.

Ponderosa High School is projected to show a steady decline over next 10 years from 1,896 to 1,623 students, while Oak Ridge High School has a three-year increase and then a seven-year decline of enrollment from 2,308 to 1,938. El Dorado High School, with includes the students from Vista High that is housed on the EDHS campus, shows a decline in student enrollment for the next six years and then a four-year increase, beginning with 1,431 students enrolled in 2013-2014 and ending with 1444 in 2022-2023.

Union Mine High School which includes the students attending Mountain View High that is housed on the UMHS campus, shows an up-and-down student enrollment for the next five years and then five years of increasing enrollment, starting at 1,038 students and ending with 1,348 students. Independence High School is projected to show a stable enrollment of  about 135 student, declining  to 130 by 2022-2023.

“The projections for next year and the next are the most robust, but they grow less so the further out they are,” said Johal.”They are based on trend lines.We look at the upcoming students in kindergarten through eighth grades to know our future.”

New development offsets the birth rate, said Johal, but longer range predictions can be iffy because of the number of variables, such as the state and local economy. “For example, it was projected that the district would decline by 260 students this year, but we only had a decline of 35 students,” said Johal. ” We were pleasantly surprised by this, but when we drilled down to look at why, it turned out that fewer families had left the area than expected.”

The number of families moving into the district  stabilized and the number of families moving out dropped significantly in the last year.Fewer families leaving indicates some moderate economic recovery at the local level said Johal.

Contact Wendy Schultz at 530-344-5069 or [email protected] Follow @WSchultzMtDemo.

Wendy Schultz

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