Lower Merion School District may lose hundreds of students in the next 10 years

Lower Merion – After years of enrollment growth, demographers hired by the school district suggest that the Lower Merion School District could lose hundreds of students over the next decade. I am.

Richard Grip is Executive Director of a company called Statical Forecasting, which has been providing demographic services to schools since 1998.

“We are predicting a loss of 444 to 509 students in the next decade,” Grip said at a school board meeting.

The school district has invited external consultants to project registrants, as Lower Merion has experienced a much higher registrant increase over the last 10 to 15 years.

A Grip study predicts that 20-45 students will be lost in K-4 schools, and 129-157 students may be lost in grades 5-8. The largest decline is expected to occur in high school, with 295 to 307 students lost.

The Grip survey looked at the number of students enrolled in Lower Merion School for the next 10 years from 2031 to 2032. He also looked at attendance at non-public schools and the potential impact of new housing on the district.

“We have been investigating enrollments over the last decade. Enrollment has steadily increased throughout the 2019-20 academic year before the trend reversed. And about 321 enrollments over the last two years. The number of students has decreased, but this is entirely due to the pandemic, “Grip said.

According to his figures, Grip said the district has gained nearly 800 students since the 2012-13 school year, despite a decline in 321 students over the last two years. Enrollment in the 10-year period increased from 7,682 in 2012-13 to 8,479 at the beginning of the 2021-202 academic year.

Most of the recent decline in enrollment is occurring at the primary school level. The number of students enrolled in primary school in the 2019-2020 academic year was 3,909. From 2021 to the beginning of the 2022 school year, primary school enrollment dropped to 3,545.

Middle school has also declined slightly, with 2,114 students in the 2019-2020 school year and 2,012 students at the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year.

Over the last two years, high school enrollment has increased from 2,777 to 2,922.

Another area that demographers saw was the number of enrollments in private schools.

Nationally, about 10 percent of families choose private schools over public schools. Schools are better than less wealthy areas, but the proportion of Lower Merion students attending private schools is traditionally higher than in other schools.

According to a registration survey conducted by the Montgomery County Planning Commission in November 2019, nearly 39% of Lower Melion families sent their children to private schools in 2000.

However, over the last two decades, the number of Lower Merion students attending private schools has declined.

At the time of the Montgomery County Planning Commission’s investigation, demographers wrote that “private school enrollment continues to decline, which is a major factor in the growth of LMSD public schools.”

Grip reports that during the 2021-22 academic year, 2,623 students in the district’s school district, or 23.6 percent, attended non-public schools.

Another factor of interest was Lower Merion’s new home.

Data provided by Grip plans 2,276 new residential units for Lower Merion and an additional 191 new residential units for Narberth. Grip data suggest that many students will not come to the district from them, as most of the new housing units are apartments.

The new housing is expected to produce 213 students from the school district’s kindergarten to grade 12.

Approximately 840 apartments, which opened between 2016 and 2019, have created 67 new students.

Lower Merion School District may lose hundreds of students in the next 10 years

Source link Lower Merion School District may lose hundreds of students in the next 10 years

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