INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. - After years of declining enrollment at Incline Village's public schools and within the Washoe County School District, both appear to be showing signs of stabilization.
According to official numbers for the 2012-13 school year, enrollment at Incline High, Middle and Elementary schools is 947 students, up four students from 2011-12. The Washoe County School District also held its ground in for the current school year with 62,424 students, up 204 from the year prior.
"We're seeing a stabilization of the economy," said Stacey Cooper, principal of Incline High School. "Families that are moving into the community have jobs here."
Cooper said she believes families are moving to Incline Village because of the academic standards here.
"We are one of the highest performing high schools in the state of Nevada in ACT scores," she added.
The housing market could be an indication for a steadying trend in enrollment.
"Our big problem this year is we don't have enough inventories," said Chris Plastiras, who, with his wife Patti, are owners and brokers of Lakeshore Reality in Incline Village. He said sales of single family homes were up 57 percent in 2012 over the year prior.
"I have seen a significant number of California families moving into Incline, who are tired of paying state income tax," he said.
Despite a tightening Incline Village real estate market, the 2012-13 Incline enrollment numbers don't necessarily carry a lot of weight in trends.
Some view elementary school numbers as a gauge to a change of the number of people moving into or out of a town. According to enrollment numbers, Incline Elementary has three fewer students in 2012-13 than a year ago.
Kathleen Watty, principal at Incline elementary and middle schools, said she sees no trend at this point.
"We always have a slight fluctuation," she said. "It's been this way for the past four or five years. Is it holding steady? Yes."
Sharon Kennedy, assistant principal at IMS, shared a similar view.
"Honestly, I don't know why our numbers are up slightly (for the middle school)," she said. "We have had several families move into the area."
According to WCSD, 316 students were enrolled at Incline High this school year, down from 321 in 2011-12.
- Frank Fisher is a freelance reporter for the North Lake Tahoe Bonanza. He can be reached for comment at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Below are enrollment numbers for the past six school years at Incline's public schools, courtesy of the Washoe County School District.
Year - IES - IMS - IHS - Total - WCSD totals
2007-08 - 423 - 225 - 383 - 1,031 - 63,635
2008-09 - 421 - 211 - 368 - 1,000 - 63,310
2009-10 - 398 - 215 - 349 - 962 - 62,452
2010-11 - 432 - 230 - 343 - 1,005 - 62,324
2011-12 - 422 - 200 - 321 - 943 - 62,220
2012-13 - 419 - 212 - 316 - 947 - 62,424