Englewood school enrollment declines

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The final 2013 count shows there are 2,835 students attending Englewood schools — a drop of 146 students from 2012, or a 5 percent decline.

“I am surprised our enrollment is down this year,” Brian Ewert, school superintendent, said on Nov. 15. “Our enrollment was up by 30 students last year, but this year, we saw a drop.” The 2012 count showed 2,981 students in Englewood schools.

He said the biggest decline was enrollment at Colorado’s Finest Alternative High School, which had about 80 students fewer than expected.

“The alternative high school is a very transit population,” he said. “Unfortunately, this year’s count day came when our enrollment was down. Right now it is quite a bit higher than it was on Oct. 1. Unfortunately, that doesn’t help us because state funding is based on the student count on Oct. 1.”

After the official count is made on Oct. 1, school districts work with the state to correct possible errors because the state funding is based on the full-time equivalent of the official count.

Ewert said a favorable sign is the fact that the freshman and sophomore classes are the largest in seven years and all the elementary schools are full. He noted the fact that there were about 50 fewer students at the middle school level this year.

The superintendent said he is researching the fact that so many students come and go during the school year in Englewood. For example, he said 450 students who were enrolled in Englewood schools last year didn’t return this fall. However, the district did enroll about 300 students who were new to Englewood schools.

“I would guess some people leave because they are unhappy with the district,” Ewert said. “But I am guessing there a number of other reasons for leaving, such as moving to a new location.”

He said he is an optimist and believes everything that is going on in the district, including completion of phase 1 of construction of the new campus and introduction of career programs such as culinary arts and cosmetology, will draw students to the district.

The decline in enrollment means Englewood will receive less state school funding. State funding is based on the number of full-time equivalent students in a district. A district receives less state funding for part-time students. Englewood’s state funding will be based on 2,600 full-time equivalent students. That is because, while Englewood provides full-day kindergarten for all students, the state only provides half-time credit for 226 full-day kindergarten students.

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