School District Sees Unexpected Decline in Kindergarten Enrollment


Kindergarten enrollment in New Canaan Public Schools this fall is expected to come in at 46 students lower than projections, district officials reported this week.

The district has 233 total enrollments in kindergarten this year, officials said during Monday’s meeting of the Board of Education, compared to 279 projected by the New England School Development Council or ‘NESDEC,’ a Marlborough, Mass.-based nonprofit organization.

The figure—still subject to change, as families move into town just before the first day of school—also marks an 18 percent drop from last academic year, when 276 kindergartners were enrolled in the public schools, according information presented by Gary Kass, NCPS director of human resources.

“Overall we are decreasing enrollment in certain areas but what is particularly evident is a reduction of students in kindergarten,” Kass told Board of Ed members at the meeting, held in the Wagner Room at New Canaan High School.

He added: “That could possibly be a trend as we move forward.”

It isn’t clear what is causing the lower-than-expected figures among kindergarteners. 

Board of Ed member Sheri West did ask whether district administrators had a handle on the data behind the lower enrollment there, but officials instead addressed a separate question from her, about why the fourth grade from last year appeared to be declining by about 17 students going into fifth grade this year.

Overall, K-12 enrollment in the schools is expected to decline by 52 students year-over-year and is coming in 57 students under projections. Only the kindergarten class enrollment appeared to vary in any significant way from the NESDEC projections.

Here’s a table detailing year-over-year enrollment as well as enrollment versus projections:

New Canaan Public Schools Enrollment

Grade2018-19NESDEC projections 2018-192017-18
Source: New Canaan Public Schools


During the meeting, Kass reviewed class sizes compared to district guidelines—noting that with six sections for 123 students, the second grade at East School was slightly over the guidelines in some cases—as well as new teaching and non-certified hires and their orientations. 

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bryan Luizzi noted that the district has seen fewer-than-expected retirees. Whereas in a typical year, the district sees about 40 to 50 retirees, as of now that figure is at about 20.

“So where we anticipate savings in retirement lines, that may not present itself in the way that we anticipated back when we built the budget,” Luizzi said.

One thought on “School District Sees Unexpected Decline in Kindergarten Enrollment

  1. 100 hrs of my work and the State own data said the enrollment
    would be going down — could be as much 30% over the next 10 yrs
    all this info was given to the town before Saxe $12 million 12 classroom expansion was approved – So now Gary kass say “this could possibly be a trend” — no kidding ! 2 more empty classrooms in
    Kindergarten — and the fact that I made clear after going back
    10 yrs is for some reason 4 to 5(Saxe) has this drop off of students going to forward– why anyone guess — but as high as -27 and
    what do we have this year -17
    Saxe we were told would have 1,479 by 2019 — not going to
    happen–but this is all old news only new news to people who did not keep up with the debate at that time

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