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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Hillsborough Enrollment: Up and Down



For our anxious number watchers, here's the latest student head count from Hillsborough.

Enrollment had climbed to 187,445 by Friday, the fifth day of school. That's a gain of almost 3,000 students from mid-week. Still, Hillsborough is looking at about 600 fewer students than at this point last year. It remains about 3,700 students shy of the expected enrollment.

It's difficult to read the tea leaves this year, due to changing enrollment patterns. (Remember those days of record-setting growth during the first days of school in Hillsborough?) Plus, school started later than it has in years, and on a Monday. Maybe some parents just didn't feel like enrolling on a Friday.

Deputy Superintendent Ken Otero was surprised that Friday's numbers weren't higher. But he still predicts Hillsborough winds up between 500 and 1,000 students of its projected enrollment of 191,218.

"We aren't panicking," he said. "I think we'll be pretty much right on target."

Interesting, Otero said kindergarten is the grade where Hillsborough is seeing the biggest gap between projected and actual enrollment. So far, schools have enrolled about 1,000 fewer kindergarten students than they expected. School officials have looked into the birth rates and didn't find an obvious explanation. Then again, kindergarten is always a hard grade to predict.

Look into your crystal ball and tell us what you see. And stay tuned for for the traditional 20-day count, when enrollment will be less fluid, and typically higher than during the first week of school.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:21am]


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