Loudoun schools’ preliminary head count for the year is in.
In all, 81,235 students showed up to local public schools during the first 10 days of school. That’s 816 more students than this time last year.
The School Board received the updated enrollment figures at its regular meeting Tuesday. The actual enrollment totals for this year are 1,054 students less than what Legislative and Planning Department projected. That breaks down to 735 fewer elementary students, 145 fewer middle school students, and 175 fewer high school students than expected.
Coming off of a few years of enrollment numbers exceeding school division planners’ projections, School Board members commended the department for conservative projections.
“I thought the projections were some of the best I’ve seen,” said Joy Maloney (Broad Run), who represents one of the fastest growing areas in the county.
She did point out one concern: the brand new Goshen Post Elementary School opened just three weeks ago with 1,131 students. That’s 218 more students than expected, and 171 students more than the building was designed to hold.
“What’s happening? It’s already at capacity level?” she said.
Kevin Lewis, assistant superintendent of Support Services, said his staff is going to look at that situation more closely when the official enrollment count is made on Sept. 30. “We’ll do a more in depth analysis and bring that back to the board.”
Sixty-seven of the county’s 91 public schools had fewer students than expected show up the first week of school. Stone Hill Middle School counted 1,378 students, 123 below the projections. Rock Ridge High School counted 2,048 in the first 10 days, 87 less than expected. John Champe High School had 80 fewer students than expected, and Park View High School had 81 fewer.
Twenty-two schools have so far seen higher than expected enrollment growth. Just behind Goshen Post, which saw the biggest discrepancy, Riverside High School welcomed 1,861 students—122 more than projected.
If the preliminary enrollment figures hold up in the official count on Sept. 30, it will be the smallest incremental growth Loudoun’s school system has seen in recent years by far. The division grew by 2,603 students from fall 2013 to 2014 (73,461); by 2,802 from fall 2014 to 2015 (76,263); by 2,738 from fall 2015 to 2016 (79,001); and by 2,555 from fall 2016 to 2017.