This is the seventh year in a row that the fall enrollment count for Logan City School District has brought bad news, but members of the Board of Education hope a personal approach might bring growth.
“Every year we do our magic October 1 enrollment count day,” said Ann Geary, LCSD Board of Education president. “It affects a lot of our funding and people in our school district.”
This is a count of the total population of students attending Logan schools and is a big deciding factor when the district allocates funds to different schools.
Enrollment went down 144 students from the previous school year, said LCSD Superintendent Frank Schofield. Drops in enrollment tend to bring a drop in what the district is able to fund, however Schofield said there is no discussion currently about decreasing any positions or programs.
“Ellis and Adams elementary schools are often the most impacted because they are already our smallest schools,” Schofield said. However, he said, this last year, Hillcrest and Wilson elementary schools had the greatest percentage decrease in enrollment.
While the decline is consistent with years past, the conversation on how to stimulate growth is morphing into a more hands-on approach than previous years. The reliance on constant revitalization efforts from the city still remain a key focus, but Schofield said there is power in a personal invitation.
“As we look at different schools and consider the needs of each and further recruitment, a personal invitation can go a long way in convincing students and parents of students to consider Logan schools,” Schofield said. “We can do more, with our administrations, to have conversations with families in our neighborhoods."
The main trend accounting for the steady drop in enrollment over the years is attributed to moving households, said Shelly Bowman, the superintendent’s executive assistant.
“We need to work better with the city to figure out how to stop this trend,” Bowman said, “because if we don’t, it could affect more jobs and programs down the road.”
Most of the board members have been involved in the district either as a parent, an educator or as a student themselves, and Schofield called on them to share those experiences with the people near them, inviting people to check out what Logan schools have to offer.
“We should all work on sharing those personal messages and positive experiences,” said Jenny Johnson, LCSD Board of Education vice-president. “Pairing that with revitalizing neighborhoods will bring students to our schools.”
Schofield said the goal is to provide more opportunities for board members to interact with parents of students who have not yet registered for school and talk to them about what they hope for their child's school experience.
“If someone talks to families about opportunities available for their child, they are much more likely to become invested because of that conversation rather than a flier on their door,” Schofield said.