Are Pinellas' neighborhood school enrollments faring better, worse or the same?
Last fall, the Times published a story about a movement drawing families attending choice schools miles away back to their neighborhood school.
We found that Pinellas County neighborhood schools lost 2,000 students in the past five years while magnet, fundamental and charter schools rose in popularity. The district has an ongoing enrollment decline (its enrollment dipped below 101,000 this year) even after four charter schools folded.
So, where do Pinellas schools stand now? We ran the numbers again:
Maximo Elementary, which lost more than 300 students in five years, went up from 365 in 2015 to 397 in 2016. So did Azalea Elementary, which hemorrhaged 210 students in the past five years, up 467 last year to 532 in October. Also in that group are Shore Acres Elementary (lost 165 students, now at 686), Westgate Elementary (lost 104 students, gained 50 to be at 613) and Starkey Elementary (lost 100 students, gained 45 to reach 627).
Some school enrollments continue to plummet. Among them: Sawgrass Lake Elementary (lost 140 students in five years down to 684; October enrollment was at 658), Melrose Elementary (dropped from 419 in 2015 to 367 in October) and San Jose Elementary (down 390 in 2015 to 328).
And some schools have seen little change since being on last year's list of schools with the lowest enrollments. They are McMullen-Booth Elementary (dropped slightly from 701 to 692), Sunset Hills Elementary (498 to 496), Woodlawn Elementary (344 to 354) and Frontier Elementary (remains at 603). And enrollment at North Shore, the school highlighted in the story, has remained flat from 334 last year to 338 in October.
It's also worth noting that Clearwater High lost 114 students and Lakewood High lost 71 students since last year. Largo High gained 100 students and Gibbs High gained 70.