Janesville School District ends enrollment decline
JANESVILLE A multi-year trend of fewer students in the Janesville School District has ended, according to enrollment figures released Friday by the district.
While not a dramatic shift, enrollment, measured as the total number of students in the Janesville district, increased by 18, according to the official student count on the third Friday in September. The increase follows a four-year decline of 253 students from 2008-09 to 2011-12. The 2012-13 official count is 10,306, compared to a 2011-12 count of 10,288.
“We are very pleased to see an increase that reverses the trend down,” said Yolanda Cargile, the district’s director of student services. “This shows success as a result of the superintendent’s goal of adding 100 students through open enrollment. We are now at 163 new open enrolled students for the 2012-2013 school year.”
The number of students who used open enrollment to leave the district is not yet available. The district also saw a net increase of 15 students in Virtual Academy enrollment.
The net enrollment increase of 18 students will not affect state aid, said Keith Pennington, the district’s chief financial officer. State aid is based on full-time equivalent enrollment, which is different from the body count reported on the third Friday in September.
“The FTE number is usually less because some students such as the P4J (four-year-old kindergarten) students are not FTE as they are in attendance less than a full school day,” Pennington said. “Enrollment for state aid purposes is a rolling three-year average, and that average is not affected by this 18 student net gain.”
Cargile and Pennington said they could not attribute any losses to the 2008 production shut down at the Janesville General Motors plant.
“We have not see a dramatic enrollment decline that can be attributed to GM,” Pennington said. “We lost thousands of jobs directly and indirectly, but we can’t say we lost thousands of students based on those job losses.”
The four-year gradual decline was more a reflection of the overall economy, Cargile said.
“What’s encouraging is that our enrollment is heading back in the right direction, which can be attributed to Superintendent (Karen) Schulte’s leadership and commitment to bringing in more students by directing principals to increase communication with families considering the School District of Janesville,” Cargile said. “That leadership has resulted in an (enrollment) increase not seen in five years.”
Student enrollment in the elementary schools increased by 26 students. The largest increase, 42, was in second grade. The largest decrease, 68, was in the third grade. Madison had the largest increase with a 47-student gain. Adams enrollment dropped the most students, 38.
The district’s three middle schools saw an enrollment increase of 42 students. All middle schools experienced growth—Marshall gained 19, Edison gained 10 and Franklin gained nine.
Craig and Parker high schools combined for a decrease of 69 students. Craig gained eight students and Parker lost 77. Part of Parker’s loss was a 46-student transfer to Rock River Charter School. The Craig-Parker net loss was offset by net gains in the charter schools, bringing the total high school decrease to 47.
Janesville School District enrollment figures released Friday indicate the end of a four-year downward trend.