District 113 Projects Enrollment Drop by 2020
High schools may see 12 percent drop by 2020.
A potential 12 to 12.5 percent drop in enrollment in District 113 schools by 2020 was projected at the district's last board of education meeting on Jan. 23.
Jean Sogin, market research study group member and former city planner who did demographic projections for District 12 in the '90s, looked at both U.S. and area births to project enrollment eight years from now based on this year’s class of kindergarten students.
“This is what we call a ‘survival rate,’” Sogin said. A student’s “survival” is defined as the period from kindergarten to their freshman year of high school.
Sogin’s projections saw an eight percent decline at Highland Park High School from 2011’s rate to a projected rate in 2020. She anticipates a 17 percent decline at Deerfield High School.
However, Sogin’s partner in this project, Jean Karp, was quick to mention that these projections are just that – projections. There’s no way to know for sure how accurate they will be until 2020.
“The further you go off into the future, the more likely you are to be wrong,” Karp said.
Sogin also said that the housing market is a factor in future enrollment, as it can lead to more young families moving into the district, or prevent them from doing so. On this front, Sogin was optimistic.
“Single-family houses are selling again,” she said. “I’m very encouraged that we are going to see more properties sell. There are definitely sales picking up. There are just so many variables to consider when making these kinds of projections. “
The class of 2023 are today’s first-graders, said Sogin.
“Thinking 8 to 10 years forward, most of the children in the district are already in the system and there’s no reason to assume they’ll leave.”
In other business, the district’s market research survey closed.
The district got the number of responses back that they were hoping for, with around 2,000 completed over all. The market research committee will be analyzing data and reporting back soon.