DCPS Shows First Ever Growth in Enrollment

Photo courtesy of
‘Back to school’
courtesy of ‘ECU Digital Collections’

For each of the previous 39 years, enrollment in the DC Public Schools has declined.  That stopped in 2010.  DCPS announced an enrollment increase this morning in a press conference with Mayor Adrian Fenty and Chancellor Michelle Rhee.  73 of the 168 123 schools (see comments for alteration) in the District are showing an increase in enrollment, and 14 of those have had to add waitlists for the first time in recent memory.

One of the interesting schools that saw an increase in enrollment of 12% was Coolidge High, which is featured on today’s WAMU morning news, along with Dunbar High, for being one of the District’s turnaround projects.  The ventures, conducted along side the Federal Government and private partners, have boosted test scores at the two high schools by 10-20% depending on the test involved.

481 additional pre-K students enrolled this year are a part of the overall percentage increase, which has yet to be released.  DCPS is adamant, though, that K-12 enrollment remains increased over the 2009-2010 school year.

Is this the economy taking effect?  Are parents who’ve lost jobs faced with the prospect of bigger and bigger loans necessary for private education taking their children to the resurgent DCPS?  Perhaps.  We’re not sure what else, beyond improved conditions, represents the shift toward the boost in DCPS.

I live and work in the District of Columbia. I write at We Love DC, a blog I helped start, I work at Technolutionary, a company I helped start, and I’m happy doing both. I enjoy watching baseball, cooking, and gardening. I grow a mean pepper, keep a clean scorebook, and wash the dishes when I’m done. Read Why I Love DC.

Facebook Twitter Flickr 

6 thoughts on “DCPS Shows First Ever Growth in Enrollment

  1. Where are you getting your numbers? According to DCPS there are only 129 schools in the system…

  2. RVB & Anon:

    My numbers came from Wikipedia:

    “DCPS consists of 168 schools and learning centers, which break down into 101 elementary schools, 11 middle schools, 9 junior high schools, 20 senior high schools, 6 education centers, and 20 special schools”

    I’ll get a firm check from DCPS staff & correct. DCPS’s website does not list a total number of facilities on their site.

  3. Courtesy of our contact (and I’ll update the story to correct this shortly) there are 123 schools:

    “Secondary – 1
    High Schools – 11
    Specialized High School – 5
    Education Campus – 20
    Special Education – 5
    Primary – 2
    Elementary – 62
    Middle – 13
    Youth Engagement – 8

    But Oyster (Education Campus) has two campuses (Oyster and Adams) that were in the count, and then we don’t classify CHOICE (Youth Engagement), Incarcerated Youth (Youth Engagement), or Youth Services Center (Youth Engagement), so the total is 123 schools.”

    There’s the long answer.

  4. Maybe you were just being funny, but uhh, it’s not the first EVER growth in enrollment.

    DCPS enrollment nearly tripled between 1901 and the mid-sixties, when the mass middle-class exodus to the suburbs began to take a major toll on enrollment: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/metro/interactives/dcschools/timeline/

    This increase in enrollment may have as much to do with demographics as anything else. The District’s population has been growing for the last 10 years or so after decades of shrinking. While the overall population has grown, the percentage of residents under age 18 has remained about the same. Barring other significant demographic shifts, an increase in DCPS enrollment would probably be expected.