Lower enrollment means less money for Frederick

Posted: October 5, 2012

The Winchester Star

WINCHESTER — Student enrollment in the Frederick County public school division increased over last year but fell below projections.

The topic was discussed at a School Board meeting on Thursday.

As of Sept. 28, the division had 13,066 students in kindergarten through 12th grade — up over last year’s total of 13,016.

Officials had projected an enrollment of 13,156.

“The economy is still slowly coming back,” said Al Orndorff, assistant superintendent for administration. “We’re growing, but not as fast as we thought we would.”

This year’s growth is a positive sign after last year’s enrollment fell by 30 students from the year before.

For the past 30 years, the division has experienced an average growth of 2.5 percent. A healthy growth is between 1.5 and 2.5 percent.

Although this year’s growth was less than 1 percent, officials are happy it’s at least positive.

“The good news is that we’ve seen growth return that is manageable,” Orndorff said. “We would like a little more, though.”

The enrollment figures will be sent to the Virginia Department of Education.

Frederick receives about $5,000 per student in state aid. By being off its estimate by about 100 students, the division will receive roughly $500,000 less in aid than projected.

Present at the meeting were Chairman Stuart Wolk and members Peggy Clark, Michael Lake, Jim Harmon, John Lamanna and Jody Wall.

Vice-Chairman Ben Waterman was not present.

— Contact Rebecca Layne at rlayne@winchesterstar.com