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Facilities Planning

Projecting Student Enrollments - Long-Range Facilities Plans


Reference Guide #A.6

An integral part of the long-range planning which is essential in documenting the need for capital projects, is the development of a student enrollment projection. School districts in New York State are required to take a periodic census. This census must record all children from birth through eighteen years of age. In addition, a listing of present student enrollment by grades, with special or ungraded students indicated separately, will determine the distribution and allocation of space within school facilities.

Section 155.1 of the Commissioner's Regulations requires that long-range plans for the use of school facilities be developed from a projected student enrollment. Projections for grades kindergarten through sixth must be for five years, seventh through ninth for eight years, and grades ninth or tenth through twelfth for ten years. The impact of nonpublic schools based on definite local information regarding the closing, opening, or changing of programs in nonpublic schools where children in the school district may be attending, should be included as addenda to the projected student enrollment.

Any extensive change in new local housing construction within the school district will inevitably influence student enrollment projections. However, a word of caution is raised here. Only evidence of sales or contracted construction should modify any basic enrollment projection.

It is important that the method used for projecting enrollments be statistically reliable.  The method recommended by the Office of Facilities Planning is generally referred to as the "cohort-survival" method.