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Goren: It’s tough to predict kindergarten enrollment

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Evanston/Skokie District 65 Superintendent Paul Goren says enrollment projections always have some degree of error at the school level.

Parents of incoming kindergartners who toured Orrington Elementary School expressed concern about large kindergarten class sizes to school board member Candance Chow at a meeting last week.

“Often we have a school that is a hot spot for larger kindergarten class sizes,” said Goren.

“In my tenure, it has never been the same school two years in a row,” he added, “because, although our projection methodology is sound and has been externally reviewed, the projections always have some degree of error at the school level.”

The parents were concerned that the large class size was caused by allowing too many permissive transfers into the school.

The district approved a few permissive transfers to Orrington in the late spring, Goren explained, because kindergarten registrations up to that time were under projections.

However, he added, “class sizes grew beyond guidelines by the time school started and would have been above guidelines even without the permissive transfers.”

To help avoid a recurrence of the problem, Goren said, “we are especially mindful of Orrington and will likely not approve transfers at the kindergarten or first grade levels.”

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