Dear Avonworth School Community,
Back in the fall of 2018, the Board of Avonworth School Directors commissioned a demographic study of the municipalities of Avonworth in order to gather data regarding future student enrollment projections. Similar studies were conducted by the School District in 2006 and 2011 and ultimately led to the construction of the Avonworth Primary Center. The impetus of this latest study is the continued increases we have seen in grade level sizes in our kindergarten classes. To give you a sense of the increases in enrollment that the District is experiencing, consider that there were 99 students in the 2018 graduating class and the 2018-2019 incoming kindergarten class was 170 students.
This latest study was conducted by Dr. Shelby Stewman, a retired Professor of Demography and Sociology from Carnegie Mellon University. Dr. Stewman worked with our local municipalities and officials from the School District to complete his work. He also analyzed census data and other statistics in order to develop a comprehensive picture of enrollment trends for the School District.
Dr. Stewman presented his findings at the February Avonworth Board of School Directors meeting. The results of the study show a predicted significant increase in enrollment for the School District. In his report, Dr. Stewman built several scenarios based on different variables. Drawing on his expertise and experience, he also stated which of these scenarios he feels is most likely. In these scenarios, enrollment is predicted to increase over the next five to ten years to approximately 2,100 - 2,200 students. The current enrollment in the District is 1,796 students.
These projections certainly have implications for the District regarding our facilities, staffing, and educational programming. The District’s Board and Administration will be using the study for planning purposes in each of these areas to effectively prepare for the future. It is imperative that we plan now to ensure that we are meeting the needs of our students in the future.
As we move forward with planning to accommodate the growth we are experiencing, I will be providing you with further updates. Following this letter you will find links to the full study for you to read if you so choose. If you have any questions regarding the study, please feel free to contact me.
With kindest regards,
Thomas W. Ralston, Ed.D.
Avonworth School District