After the October enrollment count, the St. Vrain Valley School District is positioned for a strong rebound in student enrollment, according to a report from SVVSD’s Planning Director Scott Toillon during last night’s report to the school board.
Enrollment numbers declined last school year due to the pandemic by just over 1,000 students compared to the year before. This school year’s totals come in around 31,516 students which is close to the 2019 numbers of 31,736 students.
In a year when many neighboring districts are still seeing a decline in enrollment numbers, the recovery is a positive note, Toillon explained.
“Our bounce back of 886 students (in 2021) is significantly stronger than many of the districts around us,” Toillon said. “I thought that spoke well to St. Vrain.”
Toillon’s in-depth report on shifts in enrollment included a look at each of the high school feeder districts, as well as highlighting growth in alternative schools like the LaunchED Virtual Academy — with nearly 600 students enrolled in the program throughout SVVSD. The district planning staff makes projections on enrollment, Toillon explained, and the significance of the enrollments exceeding projections will bode well for district growth.
Looking to the future of the district, Toillon’s report delved into births in 2020 to speculate on potential kindergarten enrollments in 2025. The report also examined the number of housing units in development within SVVSD’s reach, along with correlation of housing developments and school enrollments from previous years. With 104,709 units still waiting to be built — the vast majority in Erie, Mead and Frederick — Toillon and the planning department mapped areas where the district could anticipate the need for more schools near Mead and Dacono in particular.
The conservative projections for district enrollment were developed with information shared by planning departments from other districts experiencing a continued decline, Toillon explained, and SVVSD recovered roughly a year earlier than he projected. Toillon told the school board he would return in March 2022 with five year projections based on current enrollment and previous trends.
Aside from the necessities of planning for the future, the October count also informs SVVSD budgeting and allocations for programs throughout the district. Following Toillon, SVVSD Executive Director of Budgeting and Finance Tony Whiteley discussed the role the count plays with financing in his report to the school board.
In planning for the budget, Whiteley explained, the conservative projection for the number of students led to a lower budget than what the district may actually receive. Whiteley will present a revised budget for the 2022 fiscal year to the board in January, he said.