JSD to take a look at 2012 enrollment

Posted: Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Juneau School District is set to review preliminary 2012 enrollment figures at tonight's meeting.

The board of education will have its first look at the numbers today. Mid-range projections from economist Dr. David Reaume show the district at 4,944 student, including preschoolers, for fiscal year 2012. That’s a drop of 33 students from actual student counts from October 2009. Reaume has been tracking the district’s low-, mid- and high-range enrollment estimates based upon local data for several years.

Reaume states in a memo that low-end estimates account for a population decline, mid-range indicate no growth, and high-range estimates assumes a zero net-growth in population, but a higher-than-normal kindergarten enrollment.

He takes into account birth rates and subsequent kindergarten enrollment, the rate at which students first enroll in the district from home schooling, private schools or other districts, high school grade-to-grade transition rate and rate of city migration.

Reaume recommends the district adopt his mid-range projection, assuming no growth in Juneau.

“I believe that the zero population growth forecast remains the most reasonable assumption to make,” Reaume writes. “Much of the effect of the opening of the Kensington Mine and Juneau's probable 2010 employment increase has already been felt in the October 2010 enrollment figures.”

Estimates also show a trend that Juneau-Douglas High School enrollment is declining a little, while Thunder Mountain High School and Yaakoosge Daakahidi Alternative High School have seen slight increases. JDHS’ actual 2009 enrollment in October was 839 students, while TMHS had 641 and Yaakoosge had 116. For FY 2012, JDHS is estimated at 771, TMHS at 689 and YDAHS at 125.

Middle and elementary school estimates haven’t seen the same kind of shift. Riverbend Elementary, Juneau Charter School, Auke Bay Elementary and Floyd Dryden Middle School all have projections declines of at least 10 students.

Mendenhall River Elementary and Harborview Elementary indicate an increase of at least 10 students.

In other business, the board is slated to take action on a budget update, next year’s school calendar (including discussion on changes in Early Release Mondays from bi-weekly to weekly and from Mondays to Fridays), and HomeBRIDGE curriculum.

• Contact reporter Sarah Day at 523-2279 or at sarah.day@juneauempire.com.

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