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Enrollment numbers below projections

More than a month into the school year, Lake Tahoe Unified School District is down 68 more elementary students than anticipated.

Before the school year, the estimated loss was about 130 students districtwide. Now that figure has surpassed 200, though these are still preliminary numbers. People leaving the area is the reason officials give for the decline.

California provides $4,746 to LTUSD for each student based on Average Daily Attendance. The exact student loss won’t be official until Nov. 1. Based on the current preliminary numbers, about $950,000 of funding is expected to disappear from the budget, said Diane Head, chief financial officer.



Sierra House Elementary has experienced a drop of more than 20 students from enrollment projections. Principal Mark Romagnolo said there are four empty classrooms that are currently being used for remedial programs and tutoring. On Wednesdays, one of the empty classrooms receives spillover from the large music class.

The school has six portable classrooms. One will be transferred to the crowded South Tahoe High School, Romagnolo said.




Romagnolo said all the portables could be taken away and have the students move back into the school, if needed.

“It’s kind of filtering back to where it was when the school was originally built,” Romagnolo said. “We just have to downsize and proceed.”

South Tahoe Middle School’s enrollment was above projections, with a larger sixth-grade class than previously expected, Principal Mike Greenfield said at a board meeting last month. The larger sixth-grade class resulted in the school’s being understaffed one teacher, Greenfield said.

Numbers for South Tahoe High School are not available yet, school officials said.

At a Sept. 24 LTUSD Board of Education meeting, Human Resources Director Beth Delacour said the district was down from projections. Numbers have changed slightly since then, such as Meyers Elementary having received more students weeks after the meeting. However, two classrooms and one portable remain empty.

The music class uses one of the empty rooms as do students who need study areas.

On Oct. 3, the district collected data regarding the composition of classrooms. The information, called California Basic Educational Data, is sent to the state and tabulated. The numbers become official Nov. 1.

LTUSD has called California School Services to assist in a three- to five-year projection for the district. The projection will include budget, enrollment and other items, Delacour said.

In addition, district officials are in the midst of gathering information on how to deal with the loss of students and money.

Discussions regarding the enrollment information and available options will begin next month, Delacour said.

— Contact William Ferchland at wferchland@tahoedailytribune.com.


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