January 27, 2012

Statewide K-12 student enrollment continues to grow

Online schools statewide also see gains

The Colorado Department of Education announced today the statewide pupil count for the 2011-2012 school year increased by 10,949 over the previous year, bringing the total to 854,265 public school students.

The change represents an increase of 1.3 percent, the same growth rate as the 2010-2011 school year. In 2008-2009, enrollment surged 2 percent, the largest increase in recent history.

The largest 15 districts and their current student enrollment are: Jeffco Public Schools (85,751 students), Denver Public Schools (80,890), Douglas County Schools (63,114), Cherry Creek Schools (52,589), Adams 12 Five Star Schools (42,990), Aurora Public Schools (39,969), Boulder Valley School District (29,780), Colorado Springs School District 11 (29,509), St. Vrain Valley School District (28,109), Poudre School District (27,510), Academy School District 20 (23,657), Mesa County Valley School District 51 (21,917), Greeley-Evans School District 6 (19,840), Pueblo City Schools (17,877) and Thompson School District RE-J (15,655).

These 15 school districts represent 67.8 percent (578,884 students) of the total statewide enrollment.

On the other end of the size spectrum, 109 of Colorado’s 183 local education agencies have an enrollment of fewer than 1,000 students. These 109 local education agencies enrolled just 4.2 percent of the total number of students in the state in 2011.

A larger group of 134 local education agencies have an enrollment of fewer than 2,000 students. These 134 agencies enrolled just 8.2 percent of the total number of students in the state in 2011.

Race and Ethnicity Data

Among ethnic groups, students identified as two or more races increased by 10.6 percent from 23,565 students in 2010 to 26,073 students in 2011. Students identified as Asian increased by 8.3 percent from 24,493 students in 2010 to 26,522 students in 2011. All other race and ethnicity changes were minor.

Fast-Growing Districts

The Charter School Institute saw the largest percentage increase, gaining 2,525 students, representing a 31.64 percent increase from 2010-2011. CSI continues to be a fast-growing agency − 2011 marks the first year the student count has climbed over the 10,000 threshold, with a total student enrollment count of 10,506 students.

Denver Public Schools had the largest number of student gains by adding 2,573 students − a 3.29 percent increase for their district. Hi-Plains R-23 and Pawnee RE-12 school districts also had significant increases, both a little more than 20 percent as compared to their prior year student enrollment. Hi-Plains had a 20.56 percent increase from 107 to 129 students and Pawnee had a 21.33 percent increase from 75 to 91 students in 2011.

District Decreases

The largest decrease in total student population was in Julesburg School District RE-1 with a decrease of 899 students, representing 50.3 percent of the student population from the prior year. The decrease is primarily due to a decline in enrollment at Insight School of Colorado at Julesburg, where enrollment dipped from 1527 students to 628 students. Agate School District 300 had the largest percentage decrease with a loss of 72.7 percent of prior population, from 33 students to 9 in 2011, due to a closure at Agate Junior-Senior High School.

Online Enrollment Surges

The 2011-2012 enrollment totals include 16,221 students registered to online educational programs. That total is 1.9 percent of all students.

The current enrollment reflects a 6.4 percent increase from 2010-2011, when there were 15,249 students in online programs. In 2002-2003, there were just 1,987 students in online programs and, at the time, those students reflected .26 percent of the entire statewide enrollment.

Streak Continues

Statewide enrollment has grown every year since 1989, when the state’s total student count stood at 562,755.

For access to the complete 2011-2012 school year student count information, click “2011 Pupil Membership” on http://www.cde.state.co.us/index_stats.htm.