The Building Committee examined past CMS enrollment figures as well as state predictions for changes in local town populations and their age compositions. Additionally, the committee met with Peter Francese, a highly regarded demographer, to understand New Hampshire state trends, county-specific trends and the SAU16 outlook.
Total CMS enrollment has remained fairly stable since opening in August of 1998, varying at the extremes by 100 children;
The total population of the six towns that comprise the SAU16 are predicted to increase;
The 10 to 14 year old population within Rockingham county is projected to decrease from 2010 to 2015, and then again between 2015 and 2020;
The decrease in CMS enrollment from 2010 to 2015 was only 2/3rd of the expected decrease based on the 2013 state projections;
2015 enrollment, even following the recent decline, is still 68 children over CMS’s opening enrollment
Should we follow the most severe state projections of the decrease in 10 to 14 year olds, the 2020 CMS enrollment would not decrease to a level that supports eliminating a team;
Peter Francese suggests that state projections regarding young populations will not hold true within the SAU16 due to the housing make-up of Exeter and Stratham, the attractiveness of our community to Millennials, our proximity to Boston, and the excellent reputation of our school district.
Student Enrollment Since CMS Opening
**Current SAU 16 Enrollment Figure (October 2016) = 1319
CMS opened its doors in August of 1998. On October 1, 1998 the reported enrollment was 1289 students. Since that time the student population has remained fairly stable fluctuating by less than 100 students. Student enrollment peaked at 1371 children in October of 2009. Enrollment on October 1 of this school year (2016/17) was 1319 students.
SOURCE for 2001/02 to 2015/16: https://education.nh.gov/data/attendance.htm
SOURCE for 1997/98 & 1998/99: SAU 16 Report of the Administration
How Does Student Enrollment Translate to Average Class Size?
Previous Relationship Between Enrollment & Class Size
Each grade is broken down into ‘teams’ (often referred to as pods). At the time of CMS opening its doors for the 1998/99 school year, the 1289 children were broken down into 12 teams of approximately 107 children each. Because students are not equally enrolled in each grade, individual team sizes will differ. While classroom sizes for individual courses vary, particularly for elective courses, the average core curriculum class size was 21 at that time. Note: CMS was built with only 10 team areas necessitating that 2 teams ‘float’ with team classrooms spread across multiple team areas every year.
CMS student enrollment rose to as high as 1370 students during the 2009/10 school year while maintaining 12 teams. Average team size increased to 114 with an average classroom size of 23. As this demonstrates, a variation of over 101 children in student enrollment from the time of opening to its peak enrollment did not require the creation of a new team because changes in enrollment were spread across all three grades. Of course, the converse is true – should the student enrollment decrease back to 1289, 12 teams are still required.
If CMS Experiences Decreased Enrollment Can a Team be Eliminated?
The table below represents calculations of team and classroom sizes comparing 4 teams/grade versus 3 teams/grade for various student enrollment numbers. If we choose to maintain a maximum average classroom size of no larger than 24:1 and use 1319 as our current enrollment, then we would need to see a decrease of approximately 73 students within a single grade to eliminate a team.
CMS was constructed with 10 team areas. Currently there are 2 teams which do not have a designated team area. This means that there would need to be two teams eliminated to allow each team to have its own area.
|Total Enrollment||Students/Grade||Students/Team (if 4 teams)||Students/Class (if 4 teams)||Students/Team (if 3 teams)||Students/Class (if 3 teams)|
Assumption – decreased enrollment occurs evenly across 6th, 7th and 8th grades
Estimated & Projected Populations of SAU 16 Towns
Projected Changes in Rockingham County Population Demographics
2010 to 2015 Predictions versus Reality
The data presented in this table were taken from a 2013 report located in the State Data Center and are specific for Rockingham County. In 2013 it was projected that the population of children from 10-14 years of age, a range that would include those attending CMS, would decrease by 7.5%.
Actual 2010 CMS enrollment = 1347
Projected % change = -7.5%
Projected 2015 CMS enrollment = 1245
Actual 2015 enrollment = 1284
Actual % change = -4.7%
While our enrollment did decrease, we experienced only 62% of the decrease that was projected.
2015 to 2020 Prediction
The 2013 report projects a -11.5% decrease in children from the ages of 10-14 years old from 2015 to 2020.
Actual 2015 enrollment = 1284
- Projected CMS enrollment based on 2013 report (-11.5%) = -148 children, enrollment at 1152
- Projected CMS enrollment based on -7.2% change (62% of report projection) = -92 children, enrollment at 1192
- Projected CMS enrollment based on -4.7% change (same rate as 2010 to 2015 change) = -60 children, enrollment at 1224
2015/16 to 2016/17 School Enrollment
Projections indicate a continued decrease in CMS enrollment. Current data do not support the projected decrease. At the opening of the 2016/17 school year (October 2016) CMS enrollment has increased by 35 children (+2.7%) over 2015/16 figures. We will continue to update enrollment figures monthly based on SAU 16 Superintendent reports. Official yearly enrollment figures are reported based on the student population on October 1st of each year.