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NSCSD sees numbers fall more than expected

In 2006, the North Syracuse Central School District saw enrollment hit a record high of 10,035.

Now, for the third year in a row, those numbers are declining.

According to a report presented by Superintendent Jerome Melvin at the NSCSD Board of Education meeting Monday Sept. 14, total enrollment for the 2009-10 school year is 9,442, or 63 fewer students than projected last year.

"In three years, we've lost about 600 kids," Melvin said. "We don't know where they're going, just that they're leaving this district."

The report, based on attendance numbers from Sept. 10, revealed that 150 fewer students are enrolled in the district now than were a year ago. In October of 2008, the district projected a total K through 12 enrollment of 9,508; the biggest differences between projected enrollment and actual enrollment can be found at the middle school level, where there were 65 fewer students enrolled than projected.

"Our enrollment decline continues to be significant," Melvin said. "Despite all the new housing, our enrollment numbers are similar to what was experienced in the late 1980s and early 1990s."

Despite the drop in numbers, the district's schools, especially the high school, remain overcrowded. That problem was to be addressed by recommendations of the district's Demographics and Facilities Utilization Committee later this fall. However, as the committee's recommendations will be based on two-year-old numbers, Melvin said any recommendation will have to be studied carefully before being implemented.

"It's a real dilemma," Melvin said. "We just don't know what's going to happen."

Regents results

Also at the BOE meeting, Melvin presented the results from the June Regents exams taken by students at Cicero-North Syracuse High School. Eight subjects -- English, algebra, global studies, living environment, earth science, French and U.S. history -- posted increases in the overall passing percentage, while Math B (where a new exam was offered for the first time) and physics scores dropped.

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