If enrollment projections for the 2010-11 school year are correct, Ramona Unified School District will have 6,166 students, 220 fewer than this year, Assistant Superintendent David Ostermann said.
“This is the lowest point in almost 20 years,” Ostermann told school trustees last Thursday. “In 1991-92, we had an enrollment of 6,311. Our highest enrollment was in 2001-02 of 7,271, so our projected enrollment for next year is just over 1,100 students less than our high mark.”
Enrollment is key to the district’s finances, since about 70 percent of its income comes from the Average Daily Attendance (ADA) of about $5,000 per student, said Ostermann. In addition to ADA money, the district receives about $2,000 per student for special programs and from the lottery, said Ostermann.
“In formulating a budget, enrollment projections are the basis for determining a district’s largest expenditure, the staffing of its school,” Ostermann said in his report to the school board.
The 1,100 drop in enrollment since 2001-02 is “two elementary schools, a middle school, five continuation schools or a small high school,” said Ostermann, adding, “that’s basically two less schools of teachers, custodians, or students that are riding on the buses.”
The enrollment projections will be re-evaluated in the spring and later in the summer.
At the elementary school level, the largest drop in enrollment is projected at Ramona Elementary and Barnett Elementary, where, Ostermann said, the sixth-grade classes that will be promoted to middle school have more students.
According to the projections, Ramona Elementary will see a drop of 35 students and Barnett Elementary will lose about 26 students. Other schools projected to have fewer students in the 2010-11 school year are Ramona High School (78), Olive Peirce Middle School (61), Hanson Elementary (13), Mount Woodson Elementary (13), James Dukes Elementary (11) and Montecito High School (4).
At the elementary level, Ramona Community School is expected to add 10 students, bringing total enrollment in 2010-11 to 396. At the secondary level, Ramona Community School is expected to add six students in its Montessori program and 15 in Mountain Valley Academy.
Ramona High School this year has 1,844 students and Olive Peirce Middle School had 928.