DALLAS — Early indicators point to enrollment showing no growth in Dallas School District for the 2019-20 school year.
That is barring an influx of unexpected students, which happened last year.
“Based upon preliminary information from each of the principals, we can say with some semi-certainty — how does that sound? — that enrollment is anticipated to be relatively flat,” said Andy Bellando, Dallas’ interim superintendent, at the Aug. 26 school board meeting. “Last spring, we were at 2,862. Estimated enrollment for the fall is to be 2,853.”
He said numbers for grades one through 12 are more predictable year-to-year than at the kindergarten level.
“It’s always interesting to see who actually shows up during the first week or two of the school year,” Bellando said. “I know the schools had their early registration, and a lot of information has been sent out, but it’s always a bit of an unknown.”
Bellando said based on the known enrollment in kindergarten classes at Lyle Elementary School, class sizes would be between 18 and 20 students each.
“At this point, each of the schools are actually up slightly, with the exception of Lyle and Oakdale, which are down slightly,” he said. “I believe the majority of those are at the kindergarten level. If they truly do drop, then we are going to see a drop in kindergarteners.”
Last year, unexpected students came at the other end of the age spectrum.
“Our big surprise, frankly, was the high school last year,” said Debbie MacLean, the district’s director of fiscal services. “We had 930, I think in the beginning.”
Bellando said he would keep the board updated after the first few weeks of the school year. Enrollment numbers are reported to the state at the beginning of October, after which the amount of money sent to the district from the state could be adjusted.
“Oct. 1 is always quite a significant date for enrollment numbers from a funding standpoint and a variety of other needs. Let’s see who shows up in the first couple weeks and we will get that information back to you,” Bellando said. “But at this point, we are looking at flat enrollment.”