Enrollment up slightly in Robbinsdale district

This article is from the district’s website http://www.rdale.org

For the first time since 2001, there are more students enrolled in Robbinsdale Area Schools when comparing the current year to the previous year. As of the beginning of October, 11,755 students were enrolled in the district’s 13 schools, compared to 11,741 a year ago, according to a report on enrollment, demographics and class size by Dennis Beekman, executive director of Technology.
The increase in enrollment is likely due to several factors. There is evidence that some students who enrolled elsewhere after the 2008‐09 reorganization have returned, the economy has prompted more families to transfer from non‐public schools, and more open‐enrolled students are attending district high schools.
Future enrollment declines are likely for the next several years because families in the area are having fewer children. As an example of this structural decline, this year’s senior class has 931 students, but the kindergarten class has 833 students. Currently, each grade between 8 and 12 has more than 900 students, while each grade from kindergarten to 7 has fewer than 900 students.

OK folks, those are the raw numbers.  Now on to the district’s obsessions; race, free & reduced lunch, and class size.

A number of key demographic statistics were highlighted in the report:
  • Fewer students enrolled into the district or left the district during the course of the school year (the mobility rate).
  • A higher number of students qualify for free or reduced price lunch.
  • This is the third year of a decline in the number of English Language Learners (ELL) in the district – this group represents approximately 12 percent of enrollment.
  • The district continues to become more ethnically diverse (48% minority).
  • Families with elementary‐aged students are more diverse than families with older children.
  • Black and Hispanic student groups have increased most in recent years.
Class size
Due to budget adjustments, student‐to‐staff ratios were increased for the 2010-11 school year, which resulted in higher average districtwide class sizes than a year ago. Class sizes are still lower than levels in 2007 or 2008. Classroom teachers were hired as needed to account for greater than projected enrollment keeping average class sizes at projected levels. Robbinsdale Area Schools’ elementary average class size still compares very well with neighboring suburban public schools.

There is another enrollment report due out in January that we will be sure to pass along to you.  It sure will be nice to not hear complaining about declining enrollment, for a while anyway!

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