After a decade of steadily increasing enrollments at Evanston/Skokie District 65 schools, administrators expected a leveling off this year. But it didn’t happen.

Instead of a 13-student decline from last year, as projected, enrollments continued to climb, according to data provided for an enrollment discussion at Monday night’s meeting of the district’s Board of Education.

Last year, enrollment peaked at 7,559 students, and administrators projected a 13-student decline to 7,546 this year. Instead, actual enrollments stand at 7,638, or 92 more than projected.

Kindergarten enrollments, however, did take a dip to 803, or 26 less than the 829 projected.

But the big surprise hit in the third grade. Instead of an expected 835 students, actual enrollment to date stands at a whopping 871, compared with 851 second-graders and 848 fourth graders.

The other grades all showed minor increases from projections. There were 16 more first graders, 6 more second graders, 15 more fourth graders, 3 more fifth graders, 10 more sixth graders, 14 more seventh graders, and 18 more eighth graders.

With the exception of one kindergarten classroom at Orrington Elementary School, the district noted, all general education enrollments are currently within class size guidelines. School and district administrators are collaborating to provide additional support to teachers and students in that Orrington class.

It’s still a few days before the enrollment figures become official. The “2017-2018 Opening of Schools Report” will contain data as of September 30, but little change is expected between now and then.

Update Sept. 26, 2017: Due to a lack of time, the Board of Education postponed discussion of the enrollment numbers at Monday night’s meeting. Board President Suni Kartha suggested the issue be placed on the agenda after the Opening of Schools Report comes out with the Sept. 30 figures.

Charles Bartling

A resident of Evanston since 1975, Chuck Bartling holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has extensive experience as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, radio...

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  1. Referendum passed for D65 = families want to move here
    Here’s proof that good schools are both expensive & attract families to move to the area. Want more proof? Look at your increasing property values.

  2. Oh, it’d have been so much easier…

    … if everyone just paid their own way…

    Instead, we are now having to guess:

    1) was the projection model wrong/misspecified?

    2) when do we need to have another referendum?

    3) is there a fraud with people falsely claiming Evanston residence?

    4) do all those claims of “childless hipsters” flocking to downtown highrises ring hollow?

    5) why do we have to spend 2/3 of our property taxes on schools to a tune of $20K/student? I’m sure for the price we could just hire small-group tutors at $100K+ – just like Aristotle taught Alexander the Great.

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