Enrollment projection services can be a valuable resource for school districts. Enrollment projections are useful in school planning. They can help school districts with a variety of planning activities including facility planning, capacity studies, staffing, redistricting, programming, and technology plans.
Enrollment projection services offered by DeJONG-RICHTER include:
- 10 year district-wide enrollment projections, by grade
- 10 year enrollment projections by school, by grade (based on where students live)
- 10 year enrollment projections by school, by grade (based on where students attend)
These services can be done together or separately. One service is not necessarily dependent upon another. For example, enrollment projections based on where students live could be done with or without enrollment projections based on where students attend.
Student Trends & Enrollment Projections [S.T.E.P.]
In May 2013, DeJONG-RICHTER launched a custom enrollment projection model, Student Trends & Enrollment Projections [S.T.E.P.], developed in collaboration with The Ohio State University. The S.T.E.P. software was developed based on industry best practices as well as experiences with schools, school districts, and state agencies. S.T.E.P. builds upon the foundation established by our previous software by adding some useful components:
- S.T.E.P. generates forecasts for several layers of aggregation simultaneously, so district-, planning area-, and school-level projections are all readily available and internally consistent.
- The algorithm used to derive “high” and “low” projections uses a more stable methodology, grounded in statistical distribution theory, to determine appropriate bounds.
- Historical feeding patterns are used by S.T.E.P. in a dynamic way, allowing reliable forecasting in districts with shifting feeding patterns, newly opening schools, or school closings.
The following data must be collected to project enrollment:
- Historical enrollment by grade
- Live birth counts
- Single-family and multi-family building permits
- U.S. Census data
- Block group estimates and projections
The following factors could impact student enrollment and applicable data should be collected:
- Boundary adjustments
- New school openings / closings
- Changes / additions in program offerings
- Preschool programs
- Change in grade configuration
- Interest rates / unemployment shifts
- Magnet / Charter / Private school opening or closure
- Zoning changes
- Unplanned new housing activity
- Planning, but not built, housing
- School voucher programs
Develop Enrollment Projections
All data collected is analyzed and entered into S.T.E.P. to develop high, moderate, low, and recommended enrollment projections. These take into account issues such as rate of growth or decline and recent economic developments.
The low projection illustrates a conservative approach reflecting an economy that may have higher inflation / interest rates, a decline in new housing, and / or a decline in live births. The high projection takes a more liberal approach and reflects an economy that may have lower inflation / interest rates, a high level of new housing, and / or an increase in live births. The moderate projection falls in between these two approaches. The recommended projection illustrates the most likely direction of the district / school based on more recent enrollment trends in the district / school.
A final report is developed and includes tables and graphs representing the data collected and considered in the development of the enrollment projections including, but not limited to, historical enrollment, live birth counts, housing data, U.S. Census data, block group estimates and projections, maps, and enrollment projections.