District Continues Positive Open Enrollment Trend Despite Pandemic
Overall enrollment is down at London City Schools, but not by much, and not for long. District Superintendent, Dr. Lou Kramer, presented his annual enrollment report and five-year projection to the Board of Education during the Board’s regular March meeting. According to the report, London Middle School and London High School continued to grow modestly, but a bigger than expected dip in enrollment at London Elementary School pushed overall district enrollment down slightly for the year. London Elementary School enrollment dropped in grades Kindergarten through four, primarily due to lower enrollment in this year’s Kindergarten class and an increase in home-schooled students. Both factors are likely attributed to the pandemic. Overall, the elementary school had 72 fewer students, while London Middle School and London High School continued to grow by 10 and 18 students respectively. London’s 2% decline was lower than the 3% decline statewide.
The dip in district enrollment this year is expected to be brief as London continues to demonstrate it is meeting its goal of becoming a destination district. Between the start of the 2015-16 school year until the end of 2019-2020, London grew by 180 students or by just over 8%. The largest factor in the increased growth in the number of district students can be attributed to the turnaround of open enrollment. In 2015-2016, 44 more students left London City Schools in open enrollment than came to the district. This school year, the district netted 61 more students in open enrollment with every school seeing more students enroll into the district than those choosing to leave.
Given the strong economic and housing trends in London and Madison County, combined with a decline in the effects of the coronavirus, London is projected to grow by almost 200 students during the next five years. The district uses its enrollment report and projections in order to make program, personnel, spending, and facility decisions. The study recommends that the district continue plans to address the facility's needs including the need for renovations and an addition to London High School to meet growing enrollment. The report also recommends the continued investment in programs that focus on district goals while also retaining and attracting students.