District did not expect increased families exiting for various reasons
The Hopkins School Board received an enrollment update from its staff at the latest meeting, showing flat but slightly decreasing overall enrollment for the next five school years.
Director Taririo Chapinduka presented the End of Year Average Daily Membership projections, which is what the district uses the most to guide its budget planning. He said they tried to be conservative with projections, which show a slight decrease in total enrollment over the next five school years. The 2022-2023 school year’s projected total is 6,850 compared to the 2027-2028 projected total of 6,692. Chapinduka called the numbers “pretty flat.”
“What this might mean from a revenue standpoint, just putting into consideration that we are still waiting for more information from the state and we know had a little over $18 million in terms of surplus, what we don’t know is the component of how much will be funded by the state into school districts. (We are) also putting into consideration some of the shifts which are happening in our system with the (grades sixth through ninth) configuration as well as some of the shifting in buildings. There’s students (moving) from one building to another and other economic factors,” he said.
Treasurer Steve Adams asked whether the construction of local housing options was impacting the district’s enrollment projections. Assistant Superintendent Nik Lightfoot said depending on the type of unit and cost, the district gets a “yield” or likelihood of whether a family or young children will live in the unit. Many developments are focused on apartments, he said, and the district has not generally seen families choosing those locations in a way that would influence the district’s projections.
“We’ve seen if we have individuals who have chosen spaces that are not as permanent as the single-family home choice for many individuals over a period of years. We know that also contributes to some of the mobility so we see more of the mobility. We see more of the choices that people are making given the kind of options that are available,” Lightfoot said.
He called kindergarten enrollment a “key part” of district enrollment with 546 kindergarteners as of Oct. 1 of last year. Of those students, 119 kindergarteners are enrolled in Hopkins immersion programs. As for next school year, staff projected kindergarten enrollment to look similar to this year.
“This is an informative opportunity as well as an opportunity to exchange ideas and information, and to give us a sense of where we are headed for the purposes that this data helps us shape as well as gives us information on how we can plan and explain the steps that we’re taking to move forward into the future,” Lightfoot said.
According to the presentation, enrollment directly affects the budget, staffing, transportation, planning and system transitions in the district. Three factors influencing the enrollment projection process are charter schools, demographics and housing trends, he said.
“We see kindergarten enrollment being stable. We see kindergarten resident retention being stable, as we identified in the workshop. This year we looked at 535 and our planning points, we went a little bit above that this year. As we look at our birth rates, as we look at within the county and as we look at stable sets of demographic information, we are looking at that same estimate right around 535 for next year,” he said, adding other stable factors included enrollment-in, enrollment-out, immersion enrollment and there were no significant changes in open enrollment for both pre- and post-pandemic years.
Factors that the district did not expect were increased mobility at all building and grade levels; increased mobility for families moving out of the district, out of the state and out of the country; and slight decreases in the upcoming school year and five-year projections.
According to the presentation, during the past five school years, open enrollment has continued to increase at Hopkins except this school year. About 27.9% of the district’s population is open enrolled during the 2022-2023 school year, compared to the slightly higher 28.3% last school year. Lightfoot called the breakdown “fairly stable” compared to previous years and also while keeping birth rates in mind.
Out of all open-enrolled students at Hopkins, the top six districts include Minneapolis, Robbinsdale, St. Louis Park, Osseo, Wayzata and Eden Prairie. Students who are in the Minneapolis School District make up the largest chunk of open enrolled students at about 35%. A reported 1,855 students open enrolled into the Hopkins district this school year.
The individual schools with the highest open enrollment counts include Meadowbrook at 460 students and Hopkins High School at 432 students.
According to the presentation, the school’s online learning school VirtualEDU has “the highest open enrollment potential.”
The top five school districts that Hopkins students are open enrolling to include Minnetonka with the highest at close to 61%, followed by Edina, Eden Prairie, St. Louis Park and Intermediate District 287. Those five schools make up around 88% of total students open-enrolled out. Lightfoot called these percentages stable as well.
For the 2022-2023 school year, 22 students in the Hopkins School District have open-enrolled to charter schools in comparison to last school year’s 24 students. The charter school most frequently chosen for students open enrolled out is Eagle Ridge Academy in Minnetonka.
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