A recent bump in Kindergarten attendance will keep enrollment steady across the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District over the next few years, offsetting expected low population growth in Malibu.
"There is more growth expected on the Santa Monica side than on the Malibu side," said Dean Waldfogel, vice president at Irvine-based Decision Insite, who outlined future growth in the district in a presentation before the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) Board of Education Thursday at Malibu City Hall.
Board members will use the projections and a report, which will be finalized in the coming months, to help shape district policy and to dictate where to dedicate resources to staffing and classroom sizes. Average daily attendance is also tied to state funding.
"I think you raise a whole set of issues we have to look at very carefully," said board member Ben Allen.
An economic uptick and planned development in the works in Santa Monica will likely lead to an influx of students by the 2015-16 school year, according to Waldfogel.
"Overall, district enrollment is stable," Waldfogel said.
The increase in Kindergarten students comes from families who mainly live outside of the district. Last year, the district voted to focus resources on Kindergarten.
Here are projections for the number of students across the district in Kindergarten and Transitioning Kindergarten for the next five years:Grade 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 Transitioning Kindergarten 31 65 102 106 110 110 Kindergarten 845 863 886 1,008 1,043 1,044 Total 876 928 988 1,114 1,153 1,154
Live births, which are the decline in the district boundaries, do not necessarily predict enrollment.
"A lot of people move here for the good schools," Waldfogel said.