School districts see slight increases in enrollment
PRESCOTT - The three local public school districts saw minimal, if any, increase in student enrollment at the 100-day reporting deadline.
In fact, the three district superintendents are happy enrollment is holding steady and not declining.
The 100th day mark was Jan. 18 for Prescott Unified and Humboldt Unified school districts, and Jan. 28 for Chino Valley Unified School District.
The Average Daily Membership (ADM) determines the amount of money school districts receive from the Arizona Department of Education.
The number of students enrolled on the 100th day of school determines the ADM.
How important is the ADM?
According to figures from each school district, the 100-day count amounts to about $11 million for the Chino Valley; $21 million for the Prescott; and $24 million for the Humboldt school districts.
Humboldt Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Henry Schmitt said his district's 100-day average was 6,112.99. This is an enrollment increase of only 26 students - 0.9 percent - from HUSD's 2007 ADM of 6,082.38.
While experiencing a decrease at the elementary and high school levels, Humboldt Unified saw an increase in middle-school students.
Prescott Unified School District Superintendent Kevin Kapp reported a 1.3 percent increase from the previous year. The average enrollment for all of Prescott's schools on the 100th day was 5,261.9 students, an increase of 63.62 students from the 2006-07 school year's ADM of 5,204.03 students.
Like the Humboldt district, Prescott saw the biggest enrollment increase at the middle school level.
"Without the middle schools, we would have seen a decline in students," Kapp said.
Chino Valley Unified School District Superintendent Duane Noggle said his district is "holding its own."
Unlike Prescott and Humboldt, Chino Valley experienced its biggest growth at the high school level. Noggle attributes this to the closing of the Exel charter school.
"(The high school level) is also the area where we have students with the most mobility," Noggle said.
The Chino Valley district reported a 0.9 percent ADM increase. The 100-day enrollment was 2,816 students, compared to 2,676 students in 2007.
"The lack of growth is tied to the economy. When the economy turns around, I anticipate an increase in students. I am optimistic that we will see a comeback in two to three years." Noggle said.
Kapp agrees. He anticipates that Prescott's enrollment will continue to decline "or even flat line" until the housing market improves.
Kapp said that in anticipation of declining enrollment, the Prescott Unified School District "would become more aggressive in attracting new students" by increasing its amount of media advertising and its appearance at shows and public events.
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