Public Hearing and Informational and Comment Session
During the Public Hearing held on February 12th and the Informational & Comment Session held on February 19th the following questions were asked by community members. Below are the responses.
How many families are in the district that have not entered into the school system and did the study look into the future enrollment of the school for those who are not yet enrolled?
Response: This question deals directly with the demographic study and therefore was answered by Pennsylvania Economy League (PEL). Their answer is listed below. For additional information please see the full Demographic Study on the district website @ http://www.fleetwoodasd.k12.pa.us/userfiles/224/my%20files/fleetwood%20asd%20final%20report_12062018.pdf?id=4561
PEL Response: No survey was conducted. However, we reviewed the number of permits issued for new residential construction during the current decade and the number of housing units expected to be constructed in the future. Further, we discussed the turnover of mature and rental housing with municipal officials in an effort to get some anecdotal insight on what was transpiring in the district with regards to a possible transition from "empty-nesters" to young families with children or who are about to have children. While the number of new units (past and future) could be documented, the same was not necessarily the case with respect to the turnover of mature and rental housing, or any definitive quantitative information on the number of children moving into and out of the district.
The use of the cohort survival rate is designed to detect the net aggregate overall change in the number of children in the district during their pre-school years (resulting from movement into and out of the school district). The rate is filtered through the impact of parents opting for nonpublic schools or other educational opportunities at the kindergarten level, and the impact of special classes and programs (if any).
Similarly, the calculation and use of grade progression ratios detect the net aggregate overall yearly change in the number of public school pupils by grade that results from the movement into and out of the school district. It also calculates the transfer of pupils into and out of special classes and programs, private/parochial and other schools (charter, cyber, and home school), CTC programs, and other educational programs not directly operated by the district; changes in promotional and other internal district policies, dropouts, etc.
It is important to recognize while that there may be noticeable activity relative to pre-school-age children in a given neighborhood or series of neighborhoods, there may very well be many other neighborhoods where there is an absence of this sort of activity. Aggregating the districtwide picture in the form of cohort survival rates and grade progression ratios tends to negate the danger of generalizing from limited experience.
What happens to the fields at Richmond in the event of closure?
Response: If it is decided to close Richmond, the next step will be to discuss what to do with the building and the land. During Community Forum # 1 many ideas were suggested. The information from this meeting is on the district website. In reference to the athletic field space at Richmond, certainly as long as the district continues to own the space it will be available for community use. We included the ongoing operational expenses to continue upkeep of the outdoor space. Additionally, an idea to convert some of the open space behind Willow Creek to field space was shared at the Community Forum. The district owns ample farm land behind Willow Creek.
Were other opportunities looked into for saving on the upgrades such as using volunteers?
Response: The district always looks for ways to save money. Unfortunately, the work that is needed is of a scope and magnitude that we will need to use payed contractors to complete the work.
Was the cost for moving accounted for?
Response: The moving of equipment and resources will be done through our existing facilities staff. This work will be done during our current work days and will not increase expenses.
Will there be an increase in population after the 7th year?
Response: This question deals directly with the Demographic Study and therefore was answered by Pennsylvania Economy League (PEL). Their answer is below. For additional information please see the full Demographic Study @ http://www.fleetwoodasd.k12.pa.us/userfiles/224/my%20files/fleetwood%20asd%20final%20report_12062018.pdf?id=4561
PEL Response: As the description of the mechanics of our enrollment projections indicates (pages 5-11 through 5-18 of our report), the underlying assumption of the methodology used in this study is that future enrollments will reflect the recent past in terms of cohort survival rates and the grade progression experience, combined with actual and estimated annual births and recent and current enrollments—tempered by our analysis of housing and related activity and other factors that have in the past, are now, and may in the future influence enrollments in the district.
The cohort survival rate is the relationship between your kindergarten entries in a given year and births in the district 5 years prior, and it indirectly captures the net aggregate overall change in the number of children in the district during their pre-school years (resulting from movement in to and out of the school district), the impact of parents opting for nonpublic schools or other educational opportunities at the kindergarten level, the impact of special classes and programs (if any), etc.
The grade progression ratios reflect the relationship between enrollments in a given grade in a given school year and the pupil count in the next lower grade in the preceding year. By way of example, if grade 2 enrollments were 100 in the current school year and grade 1 had 98 pupils in the prior school year, the progression ratio from grade 1 to grade 2 would be 1.02. Ratios above 1.00 usually indicate net “move-ins”, transfers into the school system from private/parochial and other schools or special classes and programs, and/or the failure to promote pupils to the next grade. Conversely, ratios below 1.00 are generally indicative of net out-migration, transfers out of the school system or to special classes or programs, failure to promote pupils from the prior grade, and/or dropouts in the high school grades. So, these ratios detect the net aggregate overall change in the number of public school pupils in all grades other than Kindergarten that results from the movement in to and out of the school district; transfers of pupils in to and out of special classes and programs, private/parochial and other schools (for example, charter, cyber, and home schools), CTC programs, and other educational programs not directly operated by the district; changes in promotional and other internal district policies; dropouts; etc.
Again, our projections are driven primarily by the two factors described above and not by the average annual gain or loss in the total pupil count in past years (which is not necessarily a reliable indicator of future enrollments).
Births are down noticeably in recent years (on average), and, as a result, during the next five years the annual pool of those eligible for entry into kindergarten based on births five years prior will be nine children lower in the past five years and 17 children lower than in five preceding years. Further, the cohort survival rate is negative (averaging about 90% of births in district five years earlier). On the other hand, your overall grade progression experience is slightly positive—most notably at the elementary level (although it weakened in the current school year). However, it is just modestly positive (but slightly declining on average) in the middle school grades, and clearly negative (on average) at the high school (although in the current school year a swing to a markedly positive ratio occurred).
The report states on pages 5-28, based on the assumptions used, beyond school year 2028-29, total enrollments in Fleetwood Area are likely to experience several annual declines and then two slight increases before stabilizing at a level moderately below the figure projected for the final year covered in the study, but substantially lower than the pupil population current school year.