SCS student enrollment drops by 2K for 2021-2022 school year

Published: Jan. 12, 2022 at 10:29 AM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Shelby County Schools is looking for ways to address declining enrollment after reporting a drop in enrollment by 2,000 students for the 2021-2022 school year.

The district, highlighted as one of the largest school districts in Tennessee, says the decline is due to several factors including the pandemic.

In a news release sent to the Action News 5 newsroom the district detailed its data:

“Recently assessed data shows a decline in enrollment, *compared to the 2020-21 school year, by approximately 2,000 students in District-managed schools based on our 60th-day enrollment projections. A bright spot in the data reveals the District’s recruitment and reclamation strategies have been effective in cutting our decline in half with consideration to the 20th-day data, which reported a decline of more than 4,300 students in District-managed schools.”

SCS says it created outreach methods to increase recruitment, retain and reclaim students through its Reimagining 901 plan. The methods involve meeting families “where they are” and moving the early registration window to an earlier date.

This isn’t just happening at the local level according to SCS. Nationally, there is a decline in American children attending public school.

The district also notes NPR’s latest headcount from 600 districts in 23 states that discovered very large districts did not return to pre-pandemic enrollment this school year.

NPR Data:

  • New York City, NY: school enrollment dropped by about 38,000 students for the 2021-22 school year and another 13,000 this year.
  • Los Angeles, CA: the student population declined by 17,000 students last school year and nearly 9,000 this year.
  • Chicago public schools: enrollment dropped by 14,000 last year, and another 10,000 this year.

SCS says it serves over 113,000 students in over 200 schools with 14,200 employees and 6,500 teachers.

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