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North Syracuse Central Schools talk enrollment

District's board of education discusses enrollment projections through 2020

Because the state as a whole has been struggling with financial issues across the board, education is not immune to the decrease in state funding and overall development.

The North Syracuse Central School District met for their regular meeting at 7 p.m. Monday Dec. 7 at Bear Road Elementary to discuss enrollment projections, demographic utilization and reallocating duties to two district positions that will be dissolved with retiring employees.

With the use of data compiled by Christopher Nelson, the district's director of instructional technology and computer services director of library services, the board discussed the possibility of the district losing up to 200 students in the kindergarten through 12th-grade levels by September 2010.

These projections indicate that all levels, with the exception of grades five through seven, will experience slight decreases. Based on current conditions, long-range enrollment projections indicate a gradual decline of approximately 1,000 students by September 2020, according to Nelson's report.

NSCSD Superintendent Dr. Jerome Melvin asked that the report be prepared and made available to the board and the public. Melvin said he realizes that since 1990, when the birth rate in Onondaga County peaked at 7,581, there was a greater amount of students enrolling for obvious reasons during the following years.

However, Melvin said the last three years has shown almost 2,000 less births than the peak rate. There were 5,547 births reported in the county in 2008, according to the New York State Department of Health.

Although the state department did not have 2008 data for births in the NSCSD, 2006 had a reported 727 births and 682 in 2007.

"As in the past, a review of our kindergarten enrollment, even excluding children who enroll at either St. Rose of Lima or St. Margaret's for kindergarten only," Nelson said. "It appears that we continue to enroll in kindergarten a higher proportion of those children born in Onondaga County five years earlier than most other school districts, with the exception of Syracuse City Schools."

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