From today’s Republican American
(full story available at http://rep-am.com)
FALLS VILLAGE — The New England School Development Council’s enrollment projections, not surprisingly, show declining enrollment for Region 1 schools over the next few years. Superintendent Patricia Chamberlain shared the document from the organization with the Lee H. Kellogg School Board of Education on Tuesday. Kellogg, the smallest school in the region with 78 students in kindergarten through grade eight, could see its enrollment drop to 44 in eight years, if NESDEC’s numbers come to fruition. In the projection, Donald Kennedy, a demographic specialist, notes that NESDEC’s estimates from the fall 2013 data came within 18 students in the region for the fall of 2014. A total of 1,529 were projected, with the actual number being 1,511. Kennedy said the two factors having the greatest effect on future enrollments are a decline in the number of births in the six Region 1 towns and, even more so, the slowdown in migration, which is the result of a reduction in real estate transactions. He predicts there will be a 30 percent decrease in the birth rate in the next six to seven years. The forecast, according to NESDEC, predicts the following decreases in student enrollment in Region 1 over the next three years: 15 fewer at Lee H. Kellogg School; 28 fewer at Cornwall Consolidated (91 this year); 39 fewer at Kent Center School (256 this year); no change at North Canaan Elementary School (280 this year); 18 fewer at Salisbury Central School (273 this year); 13 fewer at Sharon Center School (177 this year) and 32 fewer at Housatonic Valley Regional High School (394 this year).