District expects relatively steady enrollment through 2030


District expects relatively steady enrollment through 2030

December 4, 2020

District enrollment projections proving to be reliable planning tool

A study of enrollment in the Warwick Valley Central School District (WVCSD) projects the number of students will remain relatively stable over the coming decade, and that previous forecasts have delivered reliable accuracy upon which the District can rely and plan.

The demographic study, which was performed by the Office of School Planning and Research at Western Suffolk BOCES and commissioned by the district, forecasts a modest rise in enrollment over the next five years before returning just below the current 2020 enrollment ten years from now.

Previous studies have been remarkably reliable and helpful for district administrators. Only small grade-level differences – between 1 and 15 students – were found when comparing projections to 2020 enrollments. Overall, WVCSD was anticipated to have 3,579 students for the 2020 school year, and 3,580 students are currently enrolled – a difference of less than one overall.

“In a year of meeting uncertainties head-on, our student enrollment numbers for kindergarten through grade 12 are right where we expected them to be, based on previous studies and projections,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. David Leach. “This is meaningful because as we look ahead and plan for the coming years, we have the confidence of knowing that we can do so with accuracy.”

Displacement is among the more notable dynamics affecting District projections, but it is balanced by a consistent influx of students in grades 1 to 8. For each of the past ten years, WVCSD has seen large graduating senior classes replaced by smaller incoming kindergarten classes. The losses have amounted to between roughly 80 to 200 students each year. This is a trend that is expected to continue annually through 2030, resulting in losses of between 90 and 130 students each year.

“The projection for 2030 enrollment is strong at just a 0.2 percent change from our current number,” said Dr. Leach. “On average, we’ve gained students in the transition to grades 1 through 8, but any gains in migration will be offset by losses through displacement.”

Additionally, the District has 95 students in its Special Education program and anticipates that number will remain the same over the next 10 years.

The new study suggests a likely rise in the District’s kindergarten to grade 12 enrollments from the current 3,580 students to 3,599 for the 2025 school year. That represents a peak in enrollment for the 10-year projection period. Trends further indicate that the last five years of the projection period (2025-2030) will see modest readjustments resulting in a total anticipated enrollment of 3,509 students districtwide in 2030.

Superintendent Leach will share further detailed findings and projections from the recent study later in the year.


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