Enrollment Planning FAQ
Please check back often as new questions and answers will be posted.
- How does the District predict and track enrollment? Does this differ from the method used in the last demographic study?
- What factors have contributed to increased enrollment?
- Is the shortage of classrooms at certain schools due to classrooms being used for Pre-K or special education programs?
- How does the District enforce and monitor residency requirements?
- What are the budgetary concerns related to increased enrollment?
- Does increased enrollment result in increased State aid?
- What short-term solutions are being considered, and what is the timeline for implementing?
- How will the District seek to involve all community members?
- Will the community get to vote on the various options?
In 2011, the District commissioned BOCES to conduct a long-range demographic study. This study predicted elementary enrollment to peak in 2011 at 2,463 students and decline to 2,247 students in the 2017-2018 school year. Actual enrollment as of 10/17/17 was 2,713, a difference of 466 students.
Given both the cost and multi-year inaccuracies of the 2011 study, the District opted in 2015, facilitated by the work of Dr. Michael Kollmer, Director of Research, Assessment and Accountability, to analyze and predict enrollment in-house utilizing the Forecast 5 Analytics tool and the cohort survival method, a generally accepted scientific method for predicting enrollment. The Forecast tool has proven to be more accurate than the analysis conducted in the BOCES study and allows the District to update and modify inputs as desired throughout the year. For additional information regarding the Forecast 5 Tool, click here.
In order to continuously improve accuracy, the District regularly adjusts the formula and parameters of the Forecast 5 tool. Additionally, the District is exploring the possibility of conducting a census of District families. As a first step, a survey is being sent to families in advance of February’s kindergarten registration to get a jump on gauging how many children might be first time school registrants in September, 2018
New families continue to move to the Mamaroneck School District, which contributes to our increased enrollment. We are a highly desirable school district that has attracted large numbers of new families due, in part, to its strong public schools, proximity to NYC and shore location. Over each of the past three years, there has been a substantial jump in the number of new families joining the District, with many enrolling their first child in the school system.
The largest jump in elementary enrollment occurred at the Chatsworth Avenue School, which grew from 645 students in 2011-2012 to 776 students in 2017-2018. To see enrollment trends at each of the District schools, click here.
Additionally, newly constructed multi-family units have an impact on the growing school population. There are a number of additional housing units that have been constructed over the past few years and multi-family units that are in the process of being built.
The District meets quarterly with municipal leaders from the three municipalities to understand the impact of new construction.
The District believes the current methodology utilized by the municipalities to assess development underestimates the impact on District schools. The District has and will continue to share its data and enrollment predictions with each of the municipalities. Additionally, the District has shared that certain communities require a developer contribution to mitigate the costs of increased enrollment.
The shortage of classrooms is primarily due to increasing enrollment and not space utilization. Both Chatsworth Avenue and Murray Avenue schools are operating at, or close to, capacity. For a chart showing K-5 projected room usage for 2017-2021, click here.
The District conducted a room-by-room audit at each of its elementary buildings to analyze both current and potential classroom space. Previously, it shifted certain small instructional support classes from spaces that could be utilized as full classrooms to other areas within a building.
Depending on enrollment projections, space needs and potential long and short-term solutions, the District could elect to move the Pre-K program, currently housed at Central School, or the K-2 TASC special education program. In the past, the District has shifted the locations of District programs from one building to another to address enrollment pressures; however, it has made efforts to minimize the need for elementary students to move from one building to another.
In 2016, the District centralized registration into one office located at Mamaroneck High School. A centralized location enables more efficient data collection, together with residency verification.
Generally, a student’s legal residence is presumed to be the district in which the student’s parents or legal guardian reside. NYS law prescribes the documentation required to establish proof of residency and the required documentation is outlined on the District’s registration forms. The District registration process is reliant on the affirmation of parents or guardians that the information provided during the registration process is truthful. In addition, all parents/guardians are required to notify the District of any change in residency. The law provides that in the event such notification is not provided, the parent/guardian will be liable for payment of tuition from the child’s date of enrollment through their date of exclusion, as well as the costs of collection.
If the District determines at any time that an individual is not a District resident, the child/children will be excluded from the District.
The District actively investigates cases where there is cause to suspect residency. Investigation might include a home visit and in certain cases the District has engaged a private investigator.
The District is exploring the possibility of periodic reregistration of families to insure that valid residency is maintained over time. The timing of this reregistration might be tied to the proof of residency itself (i.e, expiration of a lease) or transitions between educational levels (elementary, middle and high school).
Click here for a Registration/Residency Update provided to the Board of Education in June, 2017.
In recent years, with the tax cap in place and limited ability to grow the budget, the Mamaroneck School District has kept its annual budget-to-budget increases to a minimum -- due in part to reductions in certain areas based on efficiencies. In other words, our budget growth has been notably disproportionate to our growth in enrollment, causing significant budgetary challenges as we seek to preserve and improve our educational programs. Additionally, due to classroom space challenges, budgetary concerns also have revolved around the possible need to expend additional budget dollars redesigning existing space, adding new classroom space, and/or adding new teaching staff.
Not really. Although we receive additional aid for additional students, the amount of State Aid relative to the cost of educating the additional students is quite small. State Aid represents 5.5% of our District’s revenue, including small amounts of aid per pupil for transportation and instructional materials aid.
When the District has referred to “potential short-term solutions”, it is suggesting that we may need to make changes to address enrollment pressures as soon as September, 2018.
After studying the feasibility of modular classrooms -- including cost, necessary voter approval and SED requirements -- the Board concluded that it will not move forward with modular classrooms for September, 2018. Other potential options mentioned, in a non-exhaustive list include:
Adjusting grade-level class size guidelines
Redrawing elementary school-assignment boundary lines (District map)
Re-designing/repurposing existing space
The District is closely monitoring climbing enrollment trends in Mamaroneck Schools and attempting to get an earlier-than-usual read on actual 2018 Incoming Kindergarten student enrollment numbers, as well as older children entering our schools for the first time, to determine if short-term solutions will be required.
The Board will continue to work to provide community members with essential background information on enrollment trends and space utilization across the schools. Phase #1 of the Timeline set forth is complete. Phases #2 and #3 are now underway.
An Enrollment Planning section is housed on the District website; new information and updated presentations are added regularly so check back often. The Board will seek community input (including but not limited to input from a District-wide task force) as it moves closer to making decisions. As always, community members are encouraged to reach out to the Board at any time with questions and comments by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to providing information on the District website, the District sends out updates via district email notifications and publicizes new opportunities as they arise to inform and engage community members. If you are a community member without children in the schools or are not currently receiving District news, you may sign up here to receive District emails.