Enrollment at Glendale Unified has dropped for the sixth straight year but school officials aren’t worried. Here’s why

11.15.2016 | The Los Angeles Times | Kelly Corrigan

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There are 26 fewer students attending Glendale schools this school year compared to last year, which also marks the sixth straight year of declining numbers of students attending local schools.

Glendale school officials, however, said they aren’t worried about the enrollment drop. ¬†Even as Glendale Unified’s overall enrollment tumbled from 26,393 students in 2010 to 26,093 students this year, school officials have spotted a promising trend.

The number of elementary students continues to rise.

Between 2010 and 2016, enrollment of students attending transitional kindergarten through sixth grade jumped by 1,400.

“If we can keep increasing that K-6 enrollment, then our [secondary schools] will start increasing as the cohorts go through,” said Cheryl Plotkin, interim chief business and financial officer for the school district, during a school board meeting earlier this month.

With enrollment in Glendale schools expected to increase in future years, school officials point to its dual-language immersion and magnet programs as successes in attracting students from outside the district’s boundaries to enroll in Glendale Unified.

This year, there are 723 students who don’t live within the district but are enrolled in local schools and are in a dual-language immersion or magnet program.

That’s 469 more students this year than in 2010.

While the figures hint at Glendale Unified’s potential to keep increasing its student numbers, and in turn, the money it receives from the state to serve them, school board member Nayiri Nahabedian said she wants to know why students leave the district.

She was specifically interested in knowing how many students leave Glendale schools after they finish elementary school or middle school.

District staff said they would work on getting those numbers that could potentially shed light on whether or not students are leaving the school district to attend private schools.

“I want to see if there’s a trend, if there’s something we need to be concerned about, if there’s places where we need to do a little bit more than what we’re doing,” Nahabedian said.

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