Nashua student population falls by 209 students
There are 11,731 students in city schools, including pre-schools, this year, down from last year’s count of 11,940. The numbers show another decrease in a consistent decline in enrollment from 2003 when, according to the state Department of Education, Nashua had 13,487 students in schools throughout the district.
Among the elementary schools, Charlotte Avenue saw the biggest dip with 27 fewer students enrolled this year, followed by Bicentennial, which is down 25 students, and Fairgrounds, which saw enrollment drop by 24.
“Our elementary schools have not seen significant declines because of the availability of affordable rental housing in Nashua, which tends to attract young families,” said Conrad.
“If there’s a decline in student enrollment that results in a cut of our Adequate Education Grant, that does cause some financial concerns,” said Conrad.
“A loss of students on the margins does not create the saving you might think,” said Conrad.
And because the dips in enrollment run throughout the entire district, schools are not gaining any real advantages in reducing class sizes.
And this year, enrollment ticked up by 9 students at New Searles.
There are more families opting to home school children but the numbers are still relatively small. In 2010, there were 145 home-school students.
Conrad said there have also been some increases at private schools, but the steady decline is tied more to the state and region’s shifting demographics.