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District Enrollment Report Presented to the Board

  Click on the slide, above, to see the full presentation.

At the January 11 Board of Education meeting, Assistant-to-the-Superintendent Guy Whitlock presented the district’s annual Enrollment Report.

Mr. Whitlock presented the figures in a Power Point format to the board and public. The presentation showed continued rising kindergarten enrollment district-wide. This trend, which has been in effect for more than a decade, is expected to continue in the foreseeable future.

The district’s total school enrollment in the 2009-2010 school year is 6,673. Administrators are expecting similar numbers next year, with an entering kindergarten class of 475-545 anticipated.

As the township’s demographics shift – in response to economic and other factors – so too the school population’s balance is shifting, Mr. Whitlock said. The numbers of white, Hispanic and Asian students are rising, while the African American student population has begun to dwindle somewhat, a trend that began several years ago.

Enrollment Report 2009-2010 Summary

This report, which is prepared annually for the Board of Education, provides information about enrollment trends and patterns for the Montclair Public Schools. It draws much of its information from the enrollment report provided the State of New Jersey as of October 15th. The figures provided in that report to the State become the basis for the state aid received in the following year. Other sources of data in this report are derived from records kept as part of this and other administrative reports and statistics which are public information and which help to outline the enrollment history of the Montclair Public Schools.

This report is available to members of the public at the Board of Education Offices, 22 Valley Road.

The enrollment report for 2009-2010 includes the following:

  • Analysis of Overall District Enrollment Trends
  • Grade Level Projections of Enrollment
  • District-wide School Enrollment
  • Racial and Gender Composition – District
  • Racial and Gender Composition – Individual Schools

Note: Change in the Pre-K program over the years will make uneven district comparisons in some overall areas. The following describes the history of the changes in pre-k that affect the longitude comparisons for total district population:

  • 1993-94 – The Pre-K program was an integral part of each elementary school with a primary program.
  • 1994-95 – The majority of the program was not connected to a specific magnet program but offered through centers. The program was also a fee-based program.
  • 1995-96 – The Pre-K program size was reduced as a result of the “CAP” of 275 students that was placed on the program.
  • 1996-97 – The district placed a deadline for registering for the program that provided space for everyone who registered by the cutoff date, limiting the program to 325 students.
  • 1997-98 – A limit of 175 students was placed upon the program.
  • 1998-99 – The public Pre-K program is eliminated automatically reducing the elementary population by 175 students as compared to the prior year.
  • 1999 – A Community Pre-K Program was started outside the purview of the public schools.

These changes produced fluctuations in the population of students serviced by the district. As a result, many of the long-term analyses, which usually would show Pre-K to 12 statistics, will also reflect a K-12 comparison. This was done in order to provide more accurate longitudinal information where the statistics could be useful for planning.

Montclair Public Schools continue to reflect trends statewide in student enrollments. The district’s lowest enrollment of 5,104 students in 1988 has progressed as an overall trend upward to a level of 6,673 students today.

The kindergarten enrollment continues to hover between 475 - 545 students. This is significantly higher than the cohorts of kindergarten students which entered the system between 1977 and 1988 which did not exceed 400 students. Since they take 13 years to move through and leave the system, the kindergarten size eventually affects all levels.  Since 2000, only three of the ten cohort of kindergarten students were under 500 in size. (See chart. page 5

The overall size of the elementary program is expected to remain at the current higher levels over the next several years, while the middle school's population consistently fluctuates around today’s levels.  Enrollment at Montclair High School which had steadily increased over a three­ year period, increased to 1,976 this school year (2009/2010). This increase represents 25 more students than in 2008/2009. The number is expected to slowly increase again with the entry of several classes from the middle grades which are currently in excess of 500 students.

The Montclair community is extremely diverse, which is reflected in the student body. However, over the past few years, economic factors of increasing rents and affordable housing prices have caused members of some ethnic groups to relocate or move to other communities outside of Montclair. The extent to which we are experiencing a "community in transition" will become more evident with the migration of families out of Montclair and the eventual impact on the demographic makeup of school population.

As a district, we continue to experience success in attracting and retaining students from private/ parochial schools. The 2009/2010 school year saw Montclair's Public Schools realize net gains at the elementary and high school levels of students transferring from private/parochial sectors. The K-5 elementary schools realized a gain of + 35 students, while middle schools had a -3 student decrease, along with a +20 net gain for the high school. Overall, the district realized a net gain of +52 students returning from private/parochial schools in 2009/2010.

The Montclair Public Schools have established a high profile for a quality integrated education, attracting families with young children. With America's population projected to increase by 70,000,000 people by the year 2030 and with increased demands from state regulations on facility usage, the district need to remain vigilant in providing reasonable solutions to space and educational challenges and opportunities.

Click here for the 2009-2010 Enrollment Report Slide Show presented to the Board on January 11, 2010 at the public meeting of the Board of Education.

Copies of the full report are available to the public at the Board of Education Building, 22 Valley Road, between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. For more information, call the Office of the Assistant-to-the-Superintendent at (973) 509-4036.

Article Date: Jan 14, 2010