North Kitsap School District expects 116 fewer students in 2013-14

POULSBO -- Total student enrollment in the North Kitsap School District is expected to drop below 6,000 next school year.

The district expects to have a total of 5,916 students in 2013-14. Projected enrollment shows a loss of about 116 students, according to a district document.

The enrollment projection is a 10.1 percent decrease from the 2005-06 school year, when 6,578.31 students were counted.

School districts receive funding from state, federal and other levels for each full-time student enrolled. The majority of the funding comes from the state, which averages about $5,200 per student each year for basic education.

Looking into the district's records back to 2002-03 -- and spot-checking a few years before – district interim finance director Debra Aungst said she could not find any year where the average full-time enrollment was less than 6,000.

The projected 2013-14 enrollment includes Running Start students. Without those students, enrollment is 5,815.

Student enrollment at NKSD's schools was 5,930.98 this year. However, 101.44 Running Start students brought that number up to 6,032.42.

High schools will see the biggest decrease, with 61.68 fewer students enrolled in 2013-14. Elementary schools will have 45.58 fewer students. Special-education programs will see a loss of 15.54 students, according to the document.

The enrollment projection is used to develop the budget for the following year's budget. Because of the expected school closure Feb. 28 and realignment of attendance boundaries, the projection is only presented by grade span, not by school. Another projection will be made after that information becomes available.

Student enrollment is predicted using a weighted average from the following years. The most recent enrollment numbers have the most weight, with the preceding year given less weight, and the year before that the least. Enrollment is reported each month, September through June. The total number of students and the full-time equivalent are sent to the state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. 

Enrollment has steadily decreased since 2010-11 -- from 6,305.56 to a projected 6,032.42 in 2012-13. The decrease in enrollment is expected to continue. Next year, the district expects to drop to 5,803 total enrollment.

Other districts in Kitsap County have seen a drop in enrollment as well. Since the 2007-08 year, enrollment in the Central Kitsap School District dropped from 12,128 to 11,305 students. Bremerton dropped from 5,152 to 4,736 students. South Kitsap School District is down from 10,479 to 9,542. And Bainbridge has gone from 4,093 students to 3,845.

Statewide, however, enrollment is up by 7,000 students from October 2011 to October 2012, according to Nathan Olson, spokesman for the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. "That's, of course, a statewide picture," Olson wrote in an email. "I'm sure there are pockets of expansion and other pockets of contraction."

since 2007-08 school year
2007-08: 6,421.09 / 6,320.82 without Running Start
2008-09: 6,410.68 / 6,303.33 without Running Start
2009-10: 6,422.20 / 6,325.85 without Running Start
2010-11: 6,305.56 / 6,206.86 without Running Start
2011-12: 6,177.06 / 6,060.95 without Running Start
*2012-13: 6,032.42 / 5,930.98 without Running Start
*2013-14: 5,916.00 / 5,815.00 without Running Start
*2014-15: 5,803.00 / 5,702.00 without Running Start

 *= Projected

In order of size
Central Kitsap
2007-08: 12,128
2012-13: 11,305

South Kitsap
2007-08: 10,479
2012-13: 9,542

2007-08: 5,152
2012-13: 4,736

2007-08: 4,093
2012-13: 3,845


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