When asked about the discrepency between the state projected 4,668 and the actual 4,805 Dr. Florio responded that this was certainly and anomoly but this may be the start of a trend. Dr. Florio pointed to the CHS enrollment to help explain what's going on:
Dr. Florio explained that of the 59 new students at CHS this year, 36 came from public schools in other towns and countries. The remaining 26 came from private schools some which are existing Cheshire residents. Florio mentioned that similar trends were found at our other schools and may be economically driven around more affordable housing prices and rising costs of private schools in a down economy.
Chapman School, which has been seeing declining enrollment over the last few years, is up 22 students this year. The concern for parents is class size at Chapman, specifically Grade 3. Last year, Grade 3 averaged 15 students per class. This year, there is 1 less Grade 3 class with the remaining classes averaging 24 students.
Doolittle is most surprising with an increase of 38 students this year which has directly impacted Grade 1:
At least one parent raised concerns about the size of Grade 1 to Dr. Florio and wanted to know why the Administration let this happen. Dr. Florio's response was that as good as the projections from Hartford have been recently, everyone was caught off-guard with the enrollment at Doolittle last week. Apparently, we have some new residents that moved into the Doolittle district over the summer months. Suffice it to say, parents with children in Grade 1 are concerned and would like to know what the administration can do about it. I'm certain this topic will be addressed at the Doolittle PTA Meeting on 9/13 and BOE Business Meeting on 9/15.
For the complete presentation including class size breakdown and Strategic Plan, click here.