The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, December 12, 2008

Carlisle School enrollment lowest in ten years

For the first time since 1998 the enrollment at the Carlisle School may dip to or below 700 students (see Table 1), despite an optimistic forecast for growth of the kindergarten class from 56 to 73.

Superintendent Marie Doyle presented the projected enrollment for next year to the Carlisle School Committee (CSC) on December 3. Due to the reduced enrollment, the number of fi rst grade and fourth grade sections will go from four to three next year, Doyle reported. Committee member Bill Fink, noting the reduced sections, expressed concern that class sizes may grow. “Class sizes are one of the key things for educating kids,” he said. Doyle agreed with him. “I don’t like doing larger classes. But things had to give” when putting together next year’s budget, she explained.

In fact, the numbers in Table 1 show that there will be no increases in class size for any cohort from kindergarten through seventh grade. The three sections of students currently in kindergarten will move into fi rst grade in three sections. Similarly, four sections of fi rst graders will become four sections of second graders, three sections of third graders will become three sections of fourth graders, and so on.

Table 1 also shows that the total number of sections will remain the same, and that the average class size will decrease.

Committee member Wendell Sykes noted that the tight economy may result in an increase in enrollment. “People are pulling their kids out of private schools and putting them back into public schools,” he said. “That’s in the upper grades,” responded committee member Louis Salemy. Committee chair Chad Koski agreed. “That’s not going to affect the lower grades.” ∆


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