News

Palo Alto schools hit 12,000 mark in enrollment

Bulk of growth in primary grades as district becomes more Asian, Latino

Palo Alto's K-12 school enrollment shattered the 12,000 mark in new figures released Thursday.

This fall's student headcount is up nearly 3 percent over last year, with the bulk of the growth coming in the primary grades.

Ethnically, the district's Asian and Latino makeup increased, while the percentage of students who are Caucasian dropped from 52.3 percent to 50.7 percent.

African-American enrollment held steady in the low 3 percentage points.

The new figures are based on classroom attendance data traditionally taken on the 11th day of the school year – in this case, Sept. 8.

They become the district's official numbers for the 2010-2011 school year, and will be presented in a report to the Board of Education in a meeting Tuesday, Oct. 12.

The new numbers extend a 20-year upward trajectory in Palo Alto school enrollment, which hit a post-Baby Boom low of 7,452 in 1989-1990.

Enrollment peaked in 1967-1968 at 15,575.

This year's elementary-level growth exceeded high-end demographic projections.

At the middle- and high-school levels, this fall's numbers fell between low and medium-range projections.

The school district contracts with Lapkoff & Gobalet Demographic Research Inc. to help forecast enrollment trends.

Comments

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Posted by a pausd parent
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 8, 2010 at 10:42 am

And that's with the economy at a lull. What happens when the economy starts to boom?

The board is sticking its head in the sand over future enrollment. That, or they're treating our community like a limitless cash machine they can always come to for more money if they spend what they've got in a shortsighted way.


Like this comment
Posted by Ada
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 8, 2010 at 11:04 am

The district shouldn't have proceeded with Garland!


Like this comment
Posted by Ada
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 8, 2010 at 11:05 am

correction - The district SHOULD have proceeded with Garland!


Like this comment
Posted by Who's Surprised?
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Oct 8, 2010 at 11:14 am

The City of PA is putting in scads of new housing, so of course enrollment wlll go up!
Helen


Like this comment
Posted by Mike
a resident of University South
on Oct 8, 2010 at 1:56 pm

How do they know the kid's ethnicity? Especially in the lower grades?


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Posted by palo alto mom
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 8, 2010 at 1:58 pm

Ada -PAUSD should not have proceeded with Garland, its in the wrong part of town. All the new developments are in South Palo Alto, expanding at Cubberly makes much more sense. We need another elementary school in the south. (see the thread about Pennisula Day Care closing) Web Link


Like this comment
Posted by Sunil
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 8, 2010 at 3:36 pm

Mike,
Ethnicity is an optional question that you answer when submitting application to the district. They need it to track the achievement gap


Like this comment
Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 8, 2010 at 8:32 pm

Wasn't Garland delayed because growth was supposed to be below normal--guess this year made up for it.

But, honestly, what the hell did anyone expect with new housing all over the place?


Like this comment
Posted by Bob
a resident of Community Center
on Oct 8, 2010 at 10:50 pm

I was told by a former city council member that BY LAW, the city cannot consider the effect of PA schools when allowing more housing. Although this is ridiculous, evidently it is the law. Anyone care to elaborate? If it is true, then this is should be a #1 item for Sen. Joe Simitian's "It ought to be a law" - or not a law.


Like this comment
Posted by Bob
a resident of Community Center
on Oct 8, 2010 at 10:50 pm

I was told by a former city council member that BY LAW, the city cannot consider the effect of PA schools when allowing more housing. Although this is ridiculous, evidently it is the law. Anyone care to elaborate? If it is true, then this is should be a #1 item for Sen. Joe Simitian's "It ought to be a law" - or not a law.


Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 9, 2010 at 4:36 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

That gorilla in the room - TIME TO REBUILD RAVENSWOOD!!! EPA residents deserve the convenience and the acknowledgment of their equality with a restoration of civic identity. The bankruptcy of Tinsley has been obvious almost from the start. Any discussion of building more schools in the area that does not include Ravenswood is a farce.


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Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 9, 2010 at 8:54 am

Paly and Gunn are already too big. When these elementary school students hit high school, Paly and Gunn will be impossibly crowded. Time to start planning now to reopen Cubberly as a high school.


Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 9, 2010 at 11:12 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

Why not just bus 10% of our kids up to the REALLY rich neighborhoods so they can experience how the other half lives? A little diversity won't hurt.


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Posted by a pausd parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 9, 2010 at 3:36 pm

"Time to start planning now to reopen Cubberly as a high school."

Better hurry. A lot of money is going to be spent real soon to make Gunn and Paly huge schools. We could be improving those schools and using the enlargement funds to reopen Cubberley instead. But it will be too late real quick here.


Like this comment
Posted by evens
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 9, 2010 at 3:46 pm

Why does SI only have 17/18 in 5th grade? I thought this was supposed to be a popular program. There is space for 13 extra kids - who's subsidizing this?


Like this comment
Posted by palo alto mom
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 9, 2010 at 4:07 pm

There is definitely some uneveness in the enrollment -

Barron Park kinder class of 14?

Ohlone Mandarin Immersion - 18 in one 2/3 class (wasn't this new program supposed to be wildly popular and easy to fill in spots if kids left?)


Like this comment
Posted by Curious
a resident of Gunn High School
on Oct 10, 2010 at 10:13 pm

I'm curious...where do the children living in East Palo Alto go to (High) School? Paly or Gunn? Just wondering...


Like this comment
Posted by palo alto mom
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 11, 2010 at 8:36 am

Most of the Ravenswood high school kids( which also includes some of Menlo Park) attend one of 4 schools in the sequoia union district, Carlemont, Woodside, Menlo Atherton or Sequoia. The VTP students who are already part of PAUSD attend the school that their PAUSD middle school feeds into.


Like this comment
Posted by Bill
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 27, 2010 at 4:27 pm

I beleive that all of the 'new development' that occurs has to provide school impact fees that are meant to cover the cost of added school capacity to cover the additional students that result from the development. When I rebuilt my house, I had to pay for each additional sq foot over the original size. Where does all of this money go? I kind of doubt it is put into any kind of account to be used for school expansions. I assume it just gets thrown into the pot to pay for the 200K+ superintendent and assistant superintendents.


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