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Enrollment Is Rising In New Canaan Schools

NEW CANAAN, Conn. – Enrollment in the New Canaan Public Schools is up compared with last year, and members of the Board of Education want to talk with their consultants about the projections.

The Board of Education received an updated enrollment outlook during its meeting Monday. Districtwide, 4,191 students are expected to be in classes when school starts Tuesday. That total is up 65 from the 4,126 that started the 2011-12 school year.

The district’s elementary schools will see 1,615 students, with 567 attending East School, 550 heading for South School and 498 going to West School. The total is 33 more than the October 2011 figures. Saxe Middle School is expected to enroll 1,298 kids in its classrooms, up 65 over the start of last year. But attendance at New Canaan High School is down 33 from last year, with 1,278 students enrolled.

New Canaan shifted two sections from South School to East School to ease projected overcrowding at South School.

Board members were worried about enrollment projections. Consultant Peter Prowda had projected New Canaan schools would have 4,110 students, 81 fewer than are enrolled for the start of the year.

The district looks at enrollment frequently, Superintendent Mary Kolek said, and it will go back and examine numbers that “appear to be relatively unpredictable in terms of the current modeling.” People may be moving to the district because of its high performance, Kolek said.

“The more information we can give [to consultants], the more they can say that there’s something going on that might not be going on in other communities,” she said.

School board member Scott Gress said low projections can be detrimental for planning ahead and can cost money. The district needs to talk with the consultants to find out what caused the miscalculation. “We need to help them help us,” Gress said.

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