Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) – The Rochester School Board will be notified Tuesday of an enrollment report that projects the loss of more than 1,000 students over the next 5 years.
Current enrollment is around 17,800. The report shows the number could be around 16,500 at the start of the 2026-27 school year.
Among the reasons for the projected decline are students enrolled in non-RPS schools and the declining birth rate.
The report says most of the enrollment losses during the pandemic were among primary school students. It says enrollment could be affected for up to 10 years unless they return to middle school or high school.
The report says there were 2,029 births in the district in 2007, up from 1,661 in 2020. Students born in 2007 likely entered kindergarten in the 2013-14 school year, the largest class over the past ten years.
The report also includes this note:
The school board and members of the public reading the enrollment projection report may be confused and concerned that the district will open new school buildings in the fall of 2022. While understandable, that was not what the report showed before the pandemic. In 2019, it was estimated that elementary schools would go from an average capacity of 99% to an average capacity of 80% in the fall of 2022. It appears that elementary buildings will actually be listed between 73% and 77% capacity in average in the fall. of 2022.
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