School District 202’s Opening of Schools Report for 2008-09 presented at the Nov. 10 School Board meeting contains the following statistics:
2,942 students are enrolled in the District, down slightly from 2,970 in 2007-08 and down from 3,041 in 2006-07.
“We have actually been predicting about five years of a downward trend in population,” Superintendent Eric Witherspoon told the Board. “There are fewer school-age children across the nation as a function of population.”
46% of the students are white, 36% are black, 12% are Hispanic, 3% are Asian and 3% are multi-racial. The percentage of Hispanic students has been increasing over the past five years; the percentage of black students has decreased.
2,888 students attend the day school; 54 attend the Academy, an ETHS program which, according to the Program Planning Handbook, serves students “who have experienced challenges in traditional mainstreamed programs, largely due to motivation, academic under-preparedness and attendance.” In 2007-08 the numbers were 2,888 and 82, respectively; in 2006-07 they were 2,953 and 88. The Academy’s population is much more heavily weighted to minority students than the overall ETHS population: 67% of Academy students are black; 30% are Hispanic.
Total ninth-grade enrollment is 865, compared to 786 in 2007-08. Tenth-grade enrollment is 686compared to 746 last year; 11th-grade enrollment is 704 compared to735 last year; and 12th-grade enrollment is 688 compared to 703 last year.
The administration is now reporting the number of reclassified students in each grade. “Reclassified” refers to students who do not have enough credits to be promoted to the next grade and are retained in the grade for which they do have sufficient credits. School officials work with students and their families to help ensure that students can move ahead in a timely fashion.
This year, there are a total of 87 ninth-graders who have been reclassified, 78 sophomores, 60 juniors and 8 seniors. Overall, the number of reclassified students has decreased since the program began a couple of years ago. Minority students make up the bulk of reclassified students in every grade.
Class sizes range from a low of 13 in speech arts to a high of 26 in physical education. In core academic subjects, English, science and world languages classes average 21 students; mathematics classes average 22; history and social science, 23.
113 students attend special education programs off-campus this year compared to 101 last year. There has been a steady increase in the number of these students over the past five years. Park Students are now included in the total, which, according to administrators, accounts for most of the increase this year.
The number of District 202 residents reported as attending private or parochial schools increased this year to a total of 288 compared to 245 in 2007-08. The number of students going to Loyola Academy went from 132 to 164; 55 students are now attending Ida Crown Academy compared to 34 last year.