A typical kindergarten class ranges from 240 to 260 students. Unless more children show up in the next three weeks, this year's class will have 191 students.
The decline was not anticipated
Census data did not indicate this year's class would be that small, he said. "We predicted 232 students, and that's still a lower number than normal," Dr. Dangler said. In August, 2017, 258 students started kindergarten.
The declining enrollment means there will be one less kindergarten session at Quarryville Elementary School. That school will have one morning session, one afternoon session, and two extended day sessions.
The number of sessions at Bart-Colerain, Providence, and Clermont will not change but the class size for each session will be smaller.
In 2017, Bart-Colerain had 40 students; this year's class will be 23 pupils. Clermont had 78 kindergarten students last year and now has 73 for this year. Providence had 68 last year and 46 this year, and Quarryville had 79 last year and 49 this year. "We don't know if this is an anomaly or the beginning of a trend," Dr. Dangler said.
Earlier demographic studies predicted the school district would see rising enrollment through the early years of the 21st century. "That didn't happen, at least in part due to the economic recession and the collapse of the real estate market," he said.
The declining enrollment has brought some teacher reassignments, district officials said. No teachers were laid off.
The district expects to see the kindergarten enrollment numbers rebound to 240 to 260 students after this year, he said.
"Right now, we're wondering if 40 people will come through our doors before school starts," Dr. Dangler said. "We'll just hold our breath and see what happens in the next three weeks."