The East Greenbush Central School District is launching Count Me In, a new pre-school student census to evaluate the current school boundaries and improve future enrollment planning.
The Count Me In campaign encourages resident families to fill out a pre-school student census form, including the names, birthdates and addresses of any pre-school age children (ages birth to 5 years old) residing in the East Greenbush Central School District.
By obtaining this information, the school district can more accurately estimate the number of children who will enter kindergarten from each of its elementary school attendance zones in future school years. This data is important because it helps determine future needs to educate students including the number of classrooms; the number of teachers, teaching assistants and support staff; the number of chromebooks and other learning materials; and management of efficient school bus routes.
“We’re trying to get a better sense of the number of future students in each of our elementary school attendance zones so that we can plan for them and the resources they need to receive an excellent education,” said Superintendent Jeff Simons.
Kindergarten registration currently takes place during February, about seven months before students enter school. In some cases, students are being registered in the summer and right up until the first day of school, which can complicate class sizes, staffing and schedules.
The Count Me In campaign would enter more students into the system earlier and put their families on the Kindergarten Registration mailing list. This is also part of a response to the rezoning the school district implemented last school year, which adjusted the boundaries for Bell Top, Citizen Genet and Red Mill Elementary Schools, to address growing enrollment in the Bell Top attendance zone.
The district’s actions relieved Bell Top of its potential for overcrowding this school year, but the issue could re-emerge there or at another elementary school in the future given the residential development occurring throughout the school district.
A K-5 Redistricting Study began in February to provide a long-term view of the district’s enrollment projections. The pre-school student census data collected from the Count Me In campaign would assist that committee which has been meeting with town officials, the Capital District Regional Planning Commission and the district’s Budget Review and Advisory Committee.
“The Count Me In campaign will complement and support the comprehensive study currently being conducted regarding residential development and long-range enrollment projections within each of our elementary schools’ residential attendance zones,” Mr. Simons said. “We know the number of students projected for future years but lack a complete accounting of where they live. We encourage participation in the Count Me In campaign as it will provide information to our district to examine what specific impact student enrollment growth will have on each individual elementary school and what, if any, adjustments may be needed to our attendance zones.”