Enrollment projection shows minor student increase in New Canaan
Published 5:24 pm, Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Superintendent Mary Kolek presented enrollment projections for the 2012-2013 school year at the Board of Education meeting Monday, which show an increase of 13 students over last year in kindergarten through 12th grade.
The total number of students currently enrolled in the schools is 4,139, predominantly in the elementary schools, which combined are up nine students from last year.
However, the largest increase over last year's numbers is at Saxe Middle School, with 52 more students. The high school is down 48 students.
"The summary of the story is we're continuing to grow," Kolek said, adding, "We're about where we anticipated we'd be."
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Kolek called this an "interim update" of enrollment numbers since a more accurate update will be given in August, closer to the schools' opening.
"In August, it tends to be that it settles down for a bit, so it gives us an opportunity to make some of those final decisions," she said.
Kolek said school administrators and data professionals convene every two weeks to review and monitor the enrollment numbers.
She also stressed the preliminary nature of the numbers she presented because there are 42 pending registration packets from families interested in sending their kids to the public schools.
"It's a good story to tell," she said of the interest families are showing in the communities and, in particular, the schools. These are generally families who in the process of purchasing homes.
"I think it's a compliment to the New Canaan community," she added.
Kolek said parents are encouraged to contact the schools if they believe their children will attend them in the fall.
Of the elementary schools, she said, East School has eight pending packets, South has five and West has 19.
Board member Scott Gress asked, "If all 19 packets come to fruition, is that an extra section?"
"At least," Kolek said, noting East is expected to add an extra section if all eight packets come in.
East currently has 29 sections, with a projected enrollment of 556 students, the largest among the town's elementary schools.
Principal Alexandra Potts said this is not a huge issue.
"Our class sizes are going to be very good," Potts said. "We're looking to be maximizing our spaces. That's the biggest thing right now."
Potts said the school works to abide by 16- to 20-student sections, "So if we're below 16, we would condense," she said.
It becomes tricky when a section is above 20, she added, because the schools don't want sections to be disrupted. This is why she said the administration meets regularly.
"It's an amazing thing because we have absolutely no control," she said. "It usually works out very well."
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