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School District 65 issued its Opening of Schools Report for 2014-15 in November. Here are some statistics on the student body at the District.

Enrollment: The report reflects that 7,218 students are enrolled in the K-8 grade levels at District 65, up 102 from last year; 421 children attend an early childhood education program at the Joseph E. Hill Education Center, down 32 from last year. The accompanying chart shows the trends.

Kindergarten Enrollment: 823 students are enrolled in kindergarten, 1 less than last year; 96% of those students had pre-K experience in home day care, a daycare center, pre-school or Head Start.

Ethnic Breakdown of the K-8 Enrollment: 45% of the K-8 students are white, 26% black, 18% Hispanic, 8% multi-racial, and 4% Asian. In the last 13 years there has been a drop in the percentage of black students enrolled in grades K-8 at District 65, from 45% in 2000 to 26% in 2014; a part of this drop may be due to a multi-racial category being introduced in 2005. During the same period, the percentage of Hispanic students attending District 65 has increased from 8% in 2000 to 18% in 2014. The accompanying chart shows the trends.

Ethnicity by School: In accordance with the Supreme Court’s decision in the Seattle School District case, the District no longer uses race as a factor in admitting students to the magnet schools or in granting permissive transfers. This year one school, Orrington, has a racial group that exceeds 60 percent of the student body at the school. Orrington is 63% white. 

Low Income: 3,191 students, or 41% of all students, are identified as low-income. This is up from 37% last year. Of those, 2,690 qualified for the free-lunch program, indicating a higher level of poverty. The percentage of low-income students at the District’s schools ranges from a high of 68% at Oakton to a low of 25% at both Orrington and Willard.

Homeless Students: There are a total of 244 students from households who said they were homeless, down from 353 last year and up from 31 in 2004-05.

Special Education: 801 students ages 3-14, or 11% of all students, are in special education programs. Of those, 38% are black, 28% white, 25% Hispanic, 6% multi-racial, and 3% Asian.

ELL/TWI: 871 students are English Language Learners (ELL). Of these, 358 are enrolled in a Two-Way Immersion (TWI) program, 128 are in a transitional bilingual program, 261 are enrolled in an English as a Second Language program, and 114 have waived services. There are a total of 36 TWI classrooms at five different schools: Dawes, Dewey, Oakton, Washington and Willard.

ACC: 86 students are enrolled in the African-Centered Curriculum (ACC) program at Oakton School: 12 in kindergarten, 13 in first grade, 13 in second grade, 16 in third grade, 16 in fourth grade, and 16 in fifth grade.

District 65 Family Center: The number of children served at the Family Center has dropped from 243 last year to 170 this year. This continues a trend. In 2011, 332 children were served. Last year administrators said this may be due to a shift in focus to 0- to 3-year olds, and also because Oakton Community College is providing some of the services.

Class Sizes: The average class sizes for general education classes at the K-5 grade levels are as follows: kindergarten – 19.9 students; first grade – 20.4 students; second grade – 21.4 students; third grade – 19.3 students; fourth grade – 20.3 students; and fifth grade – 19.7 students.

 There is a disparity in the average size of general education classes at the schools, ranging from a low of 15.0 students in kindergarten at Dawes to a high of 23.7 students in fifth grade at Lincoln.

Busing: 2,273 students are “eligible” to take the bus because of distance, safety or a program placement. Of these, 35% are black, 28% are white, 23% Hispanic, 6% Asian, and 8% multi-racial. The report does not reflect the number of students who actually take the bus. These numbers do not include special education students.