Enrollment at Fulton County Schools this year has exceeded expectations.
At the Sept. 11 board work session, Fulton County Schools Superintendent Robert Avossa presented an enrollment summary of the first month of school that shows growth throughout the county.
Numbers collected on Sept. 10, which marked the end of the first four school weeks, show more than half (51) of schools were forecasted within 97 percent accuracy and that 69 schools were within 95 percent accuracy of their projections. Enrollment is at an all-time high of 93,818 students in grades prekindergarten through 12, showing an increase of more than 1,300 students compared to the previous year’s growth of 829 students.
“We use a very scientific approach and work with demographers and look at trends, but it’s not a crystal ball,” Avossa said. “We’re still growing in Fulton and I think that’s a good sign. It shows that Fulton County schools are a place where parents want their students to be.”
Projections for 2012-2013 estimated a county-wide student body of 93,194. However, for the first time in recent years, elementary enrollment in the South Fulton region surpassed growth expectations, accounting for almost 330 unanticipated students. In Sandy Springs, growth was seen as more new kindergartners enrolled than expected, and at the high school level, 75 additional students enrolled, likely due to families withdrawing their children from private schools and returning them to public schools. In North Fulton, enrollment grew approximately 200 elementary students beyond expectations.
Commonly called the “20 Day Count” in school system circles, the summary helps school officials know if the district’s enrollment forecasting model was accurate and gives data that shows where student population growth or decline exists in the school system. That information is then applied to the forecasting model, and throughout the year, the Operational Planning Department follows each school’s enrollment ups and downs and makes adjustments to the next year’s forecast.
The Operational Planning Department will look at how factors such as kindergarten influx, student mobility, and how private school return might affect current and future projections. Revised projections will be provided to the board at its annual enrollment update and forecast workshop held in the spring.
See the PDF accompanying this article for enrollment numbers at specific schools.