October 26, 2004
Although Scottsdale’s population has continued to grow, by about 9 percent in the past four years, enrollment in the Scottsdale Unified School District is on the decline.
The number of students enrolled in Scottsdale district schools is down 127 students compared with the same day last year, according to enrollment figures released by the district.
The continuing trend of declining enrollment is a big concern for district officials. Last year, Scottsdale lost about 600 students, resulting in a loss of more than $2 million in state funding for the state’s eighth largest district.
A "snapshot" of district enrollment on the 45th day of school, Oct. 19, showed 26, 282 students enrolled in district schools. On the same day last year the district had 26,409 students.
The district’s seven middle schools show the largest decrease with 217 fewer students. Enrollment at the district’s 20 elementary schools slipped 70 students.
One area where enrollment is increasing is at the district’s five high schools, where there are 138 more students this year. Arcadia High School had the highest increase with 76 more students. Desert Canyon Middle School saw the biggest drop — 119 students.
Superintendent John Baracy challenged principals and district staff to increase each school’s enrollment by 2 percent. Baracy was not available for comment Monday.
"Principals did make more of an effort to speak to members of the community and encourage open enrollment," said district spokesman Tom Herrmann.
Herrmann is leading a task force charged with coming up with short-term and long-term plans to market the district. The task force will meet today and Thursday, then give a report to Baracy next week.