Preliminary Numbers Show More Explosive Growth in F.C. School Enrollment

September 10, 2013 7:54 PM5 comments
The F.C. School Board convenes Tuesday night. (Photo: Falls Church News-Press)

The F.C. School Board convenes Tuesday night. (Photo: Falls Church News-Press)

First day of school enrollment numbers in the Falls Church City Schools released at the school board meeting tonight show an explosive 6.34% enrollment growth, exceeding projections and eclipsing the record 4.5% growth of the last two school years.

The biggest jump in enrollment was in the kindergarten and first grades at the Mt. Daniel Elementary, where the leap over enrollment the last day of the previous school year in June was from 169 to 199 in kindergarten and from 173 to 184 in the first grade. Both those increases blew past the projections of the Weldon Cooper consultants from the University of Virginia who predicted a net growth in those two grades of only five students.

George Mason High enrollment in grades 9 through 12 grew from 702 to 752. Henderson Middle School grades 6 through 8 fell by two from 543 to 541, and Thomas Jefferson grades 3 through 6 grew from 647 to 703.

Final official enrollment numbers for submission to the state will be submitted Sept. 30, and will be expected to rise further. Dr. Toni Jones, Superintendent of Schools, said enrollment is expected to leap further this fall when the new large scale mixed use project, Northgate, is expected to open.

She said that local realtors are reporting to her that single family homes in the mid-range price have been selling to families with young children like hot cakes, and in many cases families are now bring forced to rent because of a lack of availability.

“The School Board has done a very good job being pro-active in planning for contingencies so we’ll be able to handle this,” Jones said.

  • FallsChurchCitizen

    Not surprising, though the drop in grades 6-8 perhaps lessens the near-term pressurre for a new high school as that stable cohort moves to George Mason over the next few years, especially given that GM isn’t burdened with the 8th grade anymore.
    Seriously, for each house that comes on the market, why exactly would anyone WITHOUT kids be interested at current prices and taxes?

  • David

    It’s funny how no matter how much enrollment grows, FCNP labels it “explosive.”

    http://fcnp.com/2012/09/26/fc-school-enrollment-leaps-by-45-for-2nd-straight-year-at-record-high/

  • D_Wayne_Jones

    Oh yes, we must look at the new large scale mixed use project, Northgate. The school’s Facilities Master Plan projects 20 additional students from Northgate (the city projects 19). The school’s plan estimated that there would be 2,376 students this year. Adding the enrollment numbers from this article is get 2,379. I guess those 3 extra students are “explosive.”

    The Northgate Project will add approximately $940,000 to the city’s annual revenue stream. Divided by the anticipated 20 students means that Northgate is contributing $47,000 per student to our tax base. A single family home (those “hot cakes” mentioned in this article) valued at 1 million dollars contributes $10,300 in taxes regardless of the number of children. The Northgate and future additional mixed use projects require much fewer city services like trash pickup and snow removal. Looks to me like Northgate and others are a good deal for both the city and the schools.

    Also note that Northgate has proffered $687,372 to the schools.

  • FCresident

    D_Wayne Jones

    The Weldon Cooper enrollment projection is 2376 which includes preschool. The FCNP has not included the preschool in this article. When that number is included, the student enrollment as of 9/10 is 2415. 143 more than 9/28/2012 and 39 more than the Weldon Cooper projection.

    http://www.boarddocs.com/vsba/fccpsva/Board.nsf/files/9BESFY728A56/$file/FCCPS%2013-14%20Monthly%20Membership.pdf

    • D_Wayne_Jones

      Thank you for the correction. I concede that there has been “explosive” growth when the preschool is added. My main point still stands; mixed use projects add substantial revenue to our tax base and help cover the education cost of single family homes.

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