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Enrollment decreases in Falls schools

But nonresident students increase

Oct. 14, 2009

Menomonee Falls — The final numbers are in, and district officials were on target in predicting a decrease in students enrolling in Menomonee Falls schools.

Business Services Director Jeffrey Gross told the School Board on Monday that officials were 99.9 percent accurate in predicting enrollment and membership numbers.

The district has 4,486 students, 93 fewer than last school year. The district's enrollment has fluctuated in recent years, going down 66 students the previous year and up 91 the year before that.

However, the district's membership is 4,008, down 90 from last year. Officials had predicted 4,004. Gross said the slight decrease should not affect this year's budget.

Enrollment is the number of students attending district schools and is used for staffing. Membership is a calculation of full-time equivalent students and is used to determine state equalization aid and the revenue limit.

Gross and Human Resources Director Patti Keller said several factors affected enrollment.

• The percentage of children born in Menomonee Falls and choosing the school district jumped from the average of 68 to 73 this year.

• A smaller class is entering the district, 257 kindergartners, and a larger class will leave the district, 376 seniors.

• On average, the district has filled 60 percent of available seats with Open Enrollment and Chapter 220 students, but this year the district filled all of the seats. Nonresident students make up about 10 percent of the district's population.

• Students leaving the district through Open Enrollment or Chapter 220 remained steady - 78 leaving this year compared to 79 last year.

Superintendent Keith Marty said administrators will plug the enrollment numbers into the redistricting software and possibly adjust some boundaries.

The board decided in May to open an early childhood/4-year-old kindergarten education center at Ben Franklin Elementary School in 2010-11. To make room for the center, the district has to move more than 240 students out of the school.

The board will review the final elementary school boundary plan Oct. 26 and is expected to vote on the boundaries in November.

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