1. To date fifteen states have announced 2022/23 enrollment figures. Burbio's School Enrollment Tracker is kept up to date with year-over-year comparisons. At this point we wanted to review year-over-year comparisons by district locales for the reported states. In the chart below, yellow is the figure comparing 2022/23 versus 2021/22, and red is the previous year's comparison. City districts continue their decline so far this year, while Suburb, Town and Rural are all growing:
|2. As we head into the holiday break we are seeing school disruptions. In absolute figures they are at a lower level than the figures we reported two weeks ago, but they are much further spread around the country. Note that since disruptions are generally announced the evening before they occur there is a lag time in identifying them. Some examples from around the country:
- Ann Arbor Public Schools, MI, closed four schools on December 16th, saying, "Due to a very high number of staff illnesses, we are unable to ensure staffing sufficient for a safe in-person learning environment for students . . "
- Marshalltown Community School District, IA cancelled school district-wide on December 15th and 16th "due to high levels of student and staff illness-related absences. School is scheduled to resume on Monday Dec. 19, 2022 . . . The high number of student and employee illness-related absences, coupled with our short-in-supply substitute staff pool, have presented significant challenges to our current ability to provide a high-quality educational experience onsite for all students . . . "
- Mount Desert Island High School, ME announces simply, "Due to consistent levels of illness over the past few days, MDI High School will be closed on Friday, December 16."
- Plainview ISD, TX closed schools December 12th after "monitoring the increase of student and faculty absences due to a rise in illness the winter season brings . . . This will allow our custodial team to properly disinfect all our schools and ensure a healthier environment for our students and staff. School will resume at regular time on Tuesday, December 13th."
- Clovis Municipal Schools, NM went remote on Friday, December 9th. "In recent days, a marked increase in cases of flu, COVID and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) has placed an inordinate strain on local healthcare resources, including hospital availability and access to care . . . our district is currently experiencing high absentee rates among staff and students, exacerbated by reduced substitute availability . . . In the interest of reducing the spread of illnesses and maximizing available instruction resources, our district has decided to move to remote instruction . . ."
- Hamilton Central School District, NY closed December 12th due to a bus driver shortage.
- Four schools in the Warsaw Community Schools, IN district closed December 15th and 16th "due to high absenteeism of students, teachers, bus drivers, and support staff."
- Swedeborg R-III School District, MO cancelled school "due to illness" on December 13th and 14th and will make the days up December 19th and 20th.
3. This week we feature 2022/23 enrollment announcements from Massachusetts, South Carolina, and Indiana. Massachusetts enrollment increased 0.2% this year after being flat the previous year. All locales except Town increased. There is expansion in Pre-K, and as discussed in our "fourteenth grade" blog post this trend in many states is resulting in a year-to-year total enrollment comparison that would be lower if Pre-K were excluded. Not all states offer Pre-K, and not all states report grade level enrollment shifts, but this trend appears to be universal:
Indiana's enrollment declined 0.1% after increasing 0.3% the previous year. City districts account for the negative shift:
South Carolina enrollment increased 1.0% after a 1.9% increase last year. All the locales in the state increased, and for grade level enrollment South Carolina has both the Pre-K increase, and the 10th grade increase that is a result of an increase of that cohort repeating 8th grade two years ago that we see in some states: