“[Mott Road] was closed, and then reopened once the enrollment picked up again, so we do have to be watching that very, very closely,” Kaiser said.
She said the district is also paying attention to the declining population of Central New York and its affect on F-M and neighboring schools.
“If you look at similar school districts [such as Liverpool, North Syracuse and Baldwinsville], you’re going to find similar trends,” Kaiser said. “I believe there’s maybe one or two schools who are remaining stable in their population.”
From the ground up
The district’s projections come from looking at kindergarten enrollment, which between the 2010-11 and 2011-12 school years dropped by 41 students.
“We do an enrollment study each year and one of the factors is the enrollment in kindergarten, and through that enrollment in kindergarten you can do a straight line projection through to the senior high to see how many kids would be in a particular class,” Kaiser said.
Other factors include the area’s live birth rate, which is declining, and how many parents, or future parents, are moving in and out of F-M.
As one possible factor, Kaiser pointed to housing development in the area being relatively flat due to the slumping economy. Also contributing to the decline, though, could be that throughout Central New York people are simply not moving out of their homes because it is not the best time to sell, she said.
“I don’t think there’s a reason why [parents] are not coming to F-M,” Kaiser said. “I just think they’re staying put.”
Mark W. Re, vice president and general manager of RealtyUSA’s Central Region, recently told Eagle Newspapers that right now is the best time to buy real estate in CNY. This also means that selling could be a different story. The key is to price your house appropriately, he said.