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Sunday, February 25 News

Enrollment projections predict increase at elementary schools

FAIRFIELD — Fairfield schools will likely see an increase in their elementary school population and a decrease in their high school enrollment over the next 10 years.

Those projections are part of a detailed report compiled by Cheshire-based consulting firm Milone & Macbroom that, as of last week, is posted on Fairfield Public Schools’ website.

“It’s a very basic trend line we’re seeing. Nothing out of the ordinary. It’s a trend line where elementary starts climbing at 10 years, while high school starts to go down,” Superintendent of Schools Toni Jones said.

According to Jones, the declining secondary school population is a result of large cohorts graduating. Jones said it is reasonable to believe the increasing elementary school population may reflect in 10 years time on the district’s high school population.

“Typically that’s the trend line for high-performing districts. We don’t have a lot of families that leave before secondary school,” said Jones, though she added projection numbers were highly speculative 10 or 15 years out.

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To view the enrollment projections, visit fairfieldschools.org.

The projections are used to justify future school construction and will be referenced as renovation projects at Mill Hill and Sherman elementary schools move forward.

The study factored in birth projections, housing characteristics, residential development, economic conditions, student transfers in and out of the district and student mobility. The numbers show the district’s overall school population could decrease by roughly 400 students by 2027-28.

Jones said the data will likely be discussed by the Board of Education in the future.

“I would certainly expect in the future when the board starts talking about facilities, this will come up,” Jones said.

justin.papp@scni.com; @justinjpapp1

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