Schools offer preliminary headcounts

With the high cost of housing driving declining school enrollment figures throughout the state, there were a few bright spots in the preliminary local students counts.

Bishop Garcia Diego High School was reportedly up to approximately 270 students this week. In January, the Catholic school announced that it was severing relations with the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in order to have more local control. At that time a board of directors was formed and the school began actively marketing to the community, a move that resulted in additional students for the fall.

As of Monday, the Hope School District had 1,415 students enrolled, said Superintendent Les Imel. This is approximately 20 fewer students than the district had budgeted for, but still more than the 2003-2004 year end count of 1,371. Imel stressed that those numbers — of which approximately 30 percent are inter-district transfer students — were not final.

Vieja Valley, for example, took in four new students (not included in the 1,415) that day, said Principal Barbara LaCorte.

Getting a handle on enrollment figures is particularly critical in these times of uncertain state funding, but administrators all stressed that the numbers were still fluctuating.

The Santa Barbara Elementary School District had a very preliminary count of 5,386 students, versus a projected 5,585 students, while the secondary district was over its initial projection of 9,474, with a preliminary headcount of 9,762.

The Goleta Union School District had 3,773 students on the first day, but again, emphasized the count was still preliminary.

Originally published in South Coast Beacon on September 16, 2004.

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