Lower enrollment on par with district estimates

ARLINGTON — Conservative enrollment predictions by the school district have been nearly spot-on during the first month of the school year.

The Arlington School District budgeted for 5,100 students to enroll in the district’s 10 schools for the 2009-10 school year. During the month of September, 5,103 students were counted within district schools, according to enrollment numbers provided by the district’s financial services department.

Those numbers do not include students who attend Stilly Valley School, which has a later start date than the other district schools and were therefore not counted, said Deb Borgens, executive director of financial services.

“The main thing is that we’re above where we’re budgeted and that’s a good thing,” Borgens said.

Not including Stilly Valley, the district counted an average of 4,891.85 FTE, or full-time equivalent students, during September.

Numbers from Stilly Valley will be available in the October enrollment report, Borgens said.

Student head counts are conducted multiple times each month within district schools.

The Arlington School District, as well as other state districts, receive funding based on how many students attend their schools.

Borgens said because the district saw such an enrollment drop the past couple of years, like most other state school districts, it was forced to make drastic personnel cuts and conservative enrollment estimates last school year and before the 2009-10 school year.

School districts receive funding each year based on the previous year’s enrollment numbers.

Borgens said she expects enrollment to continue to increase at the elementary and middle schools and decrease at the high schools as the year goes on.

“That’s been a traditional trend,” Borgens said.

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