District sees enrollment decrease but more students than projected
Although the Wilton Public School District has 45 fewer students this October than it did last year, according to the official October 2017 enrollment report, it also has more students than projected for the school year.
As Superintendent Kevin Smith noted during the Board of Education’s Sept. 28 meeting, enrollment in the district has been pleasantly surprising this year with about 70 students above projected.
Smith added that “most of those students were new to the community.”
As of Oct. 1, the district’s total enrollment — excluding preschool students — was 3,967. This time last year, that number was 4,012.
According to the October 2017 net enrollment count, there are 720 students at Miller-Driscoll, 908 at Cider Mill, 1,005 at Middlebrook and 1,334 at Wilton High School.
Grade level enrollment this year is as follows:
- Kindergarten: 211.
- First grade: 243.
- Second grade: 266.
- Third grade: 314.
- Fourth grade: 281.
- Fifth grade: 313.
- Sixth grade: 340.
- Seventh grade: 351.
- Eighth grade: 314.
- Ninth grade: 363.
- 10th grade: 327.
- 11th grade: 318.
- 12th grade: 328.
Grade level changes
Eighth grade saw the biggest drop, with 47 fewer students enrolled this year than last year, followed by second and fourth grade, which each had a 27-student decrease.
Six other grade levels saw drops in enrollment this year. There are 18 fewer students in kindergarten, 13 fewer in both first and fifth grade, nine fewer in both 10th and 11th grade and three fewer in sixth grade.
Three grade levels saw enrollment increases: third grade enrollment went up by 62 students, seventh grade increased by 39 students, and ninth grade increased by 27 students.
Twelfth-grade enrollment remained the same for the second year in a row, according to the report.
This year, the district added one preschool teacher and two third grade teachers. Fourth grade had a two-teacher decrease, while kindergarten, first and fifth grade each had a one-teacher decrease. The number of second-grade teachers remained the same.
Full-time equivalent (FTE) staffing changes at Middlebrook and Wilton High School this year were “driven by student enrollment in classes and not actual people added/cut,” according to Erika Cross from the school district’s human resources department.
Middlebrook had a 0.2 FTE decrease, while the high school had a 1.1 FTE increase.
Outplaced, pre-K and SPED
When it comes to outplaced students, 30 are in private schools and one is hospitalized, according to the enrollment report.
There are 54 preschoolers enrolled in the district, 29 of whom are in special education.
According to the report, there are 538 special education students enrolled in the district. In addition to pre-K, this number includes:
- Miller-Driscoll: 67.
- Cider Mill: 114.
- Middlebrook: 138.
- Wilton High School: 190.
Other than an enrollment increase of one student in 2011, student enrollment — with preschool and out-of-district students factored in — has dropped every year since 2008:
- 2009: 37 fewer students than the previous year.
- 2010: 36 fewer students than the previous year.
- 2012: 23 fewer students than the previous year.
- 2013: 15 fewer students than the previous year.
- 2014: 42 fewer students than the previous year.
- 2015: 78 fewer students than the previous year.
- 2016: 92 fewer students than the previous year.
For 2018-19, consulting firm Milone & MacBroom has projected K-12 enrollment ranging from a 3,803 to 3,910 depending on economic conditions.
Milone & MacBroom’s report is available here.
The district’s October 2017 enrollment report is available here.