Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Decline in PPS Enrollment/ Schenley Decision

Today's Post Gazette discusses whether the decision to close Schenley may have contributed to the 1600 student decline in PPS enrollment (last year's decline was about 1200).

The article, quoted below, indicates that Frick 9th grade and U Prep 9th grade enrollment together total 270. Wasn't the freshman class at Schenley generally about 350 the past few years? (Numbers drop off a great deal in 11th and 12 grade due to students who leave before graduation.)

The article also notes that 10th thru 12th grade enrollment at Schenley is now 694. So, total Frick 9th grade, U Prep 9th grade and Schenley enrollment is 964. Wasn't total Schenley enrollment near 1100 the past few years?

Of course some of the "missing" students are simply at another PPS, but the numbers may suggest a lack of enthusiasm about the options that replaced Schenley.

.... "Critics displeased with Mr. Roosevelt's changes, including the closing of the Pittsburgh Schenley High School building in June, have suggested that he's driving some families from the district.
Mr. Roosevelt yesterday disputed that idea, saying enrollment numbers conform to state projections that are based on demographics.
He added that ninth-grade enrollment at Pittsburgh Frick 6-9 in Oakland and the new university-prep school in the Hill District show that the Schenley decision hasn't caused parents to pull students from the district.
Frick and the university school together have about 270 ninth-graders, most of whom would have gone to the Schenley building had it remained open. Mr. Roosevelt said enrollment at the Reizenstein building in Shadyside -- new home to Schenley's 10th, 11th and 12th graders -- is a healthy 694."


Anonymous said...

I find this all very confusing and think Frick turning into a Science and Technology school next year will not really be understood for a long time. At least not by those who are not a student parent or staff member. If the IB program is what was chosen for a student then it would have been less confusing to have IB at Frick. Kids now in early elementary school will benefit most from all the turmoil the high schoolers are going through now. I do sometimes think the kids are taking change better than the rest of us. Teachers seem to take it all in stride too.

Anonymous said...

When looking at the Schenley @ Reizenstein enrollment figures, how do they account for the 50 student drop since the first day of school? Changing demographics doesn't make much sense to me. I hope that someone will do an in-depth analysis of enrollment changes. Schenley last year did have over 1100 students but the number dropped monthly, so to be fair, I guess we can't blame Roosevelt's changes for all of the decline. I am glad that Joe Smydo decided to do a story on this; I think it is important to look at.

Questioner said...

Until the dropout problem is really addressed HS enrollment WILL decline every month. Schenley enrollment can be expected to continue to decline over the upcoming year. But comparing apples to apples, if Schenley enrollment last October was around 1100 then looking at October enrollment this year there does seem to have been a noticeable decline.

Questioner said...

It has been pointed out that some of the Schenley decline is due to ESL students moving to Allderdice.

bethoven said...

WELL WELL WELL we should not be suprised!!! Now the question is if we have lost 1600 students and each teachers classload is aproximately 25 how many teachers will loose their jobs??? That should be about 64 right? Maybe Smydo should ask Roosovelt what is he going to do with all those teachers? or Maybe he should ask the teachers what they think will happen to them.

Questioner said...

An excess of teachers will contribute to the "Dramatic Reversal in Prior Rising Trend in Spending/ Greatest Decrease is in Salaries" (http://www.pps.k12.pa.us/14311059122535553/lib/14311059122535553/Historical_Financial_Review_05_14_08.pdf) so it's all good.

Questioner said...

Enrollment in schools in the Pittsburgh diocese is actually increasing at the HS level, so that enrollment is at its highest since the 1990's. These 12 high schools (including 8 in the city, one in McKeesport, another in Coraopolis) would seem to be facing the same demographic changes as city schools(http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08248/909280-298.stm).

Truth In Information said...

The decline in 9th Grade Students who "would have attended Schenley" is explained in several ways: (1) Transferring the Robotics Magnet to Peabody. While the 10th-12th graders in this program are still taking their non-magnet courses at Reizenstein, the 9th graders are taking all of their courses at Peabody. (2) ESL was moved to Allderdice. (3) General population/enrollment decline across the district. The overall decline in population for 9-12 "Schenley" students at Schenley @ Reizenstein, Frick, and University Prep can be explained by the same factors. It should be noted that for a school the size of Schenley (as seen by the population of students covered by the above facilities, the overall decline of students (from 1100) is not bad at all, especially when you consider the ESL program has about 70 students at the high school level.

Questioner said...

Good points, but at the same time it is likely that some students who would have gone to Brashear are now in the U Prep feeder pattern, and that some students from the Reizenstein area who would have gone to Westinghouse or Peabody have chosen the Schenley programs in the new location. Almost certainly there are students who would have gone to Schenley, are not in the U Prep feeder pattern, want to play sports and/or do not want to pursue IB, and with Schenley gone are not finding a good option. The result is a net decline in enrollment independent of demographics.