WILMINGTON, MA — The School Committee recently received an enrollment report from Superintendent Dr. Glenn Brand.
The district’s enrollment is down 132 students from last year, falling from 3,399 to 3,267.
- Boutwell DECREASED by 25, from 160 to 135
- Wildwood DECREASED by 23, from 194 to 171
- Shawsheen INCREASED by 16, from 345 to 361
- Woburn Street INCREASED by 36, from 383 to 419
- North DECREASED by 38, from 303 to 265
- West DECREASED by 10, from 247 to 237
- Middle School DECREASED by 56, from 836 to 780
- High School DECREASED by 27, from 862 to 835
- Out of District Placement DECREAED by 5, from 69 to 64
The district is in the process of submitting its enrollment numbers to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). Final enrollment numbers will be available in late October or early November following the DESE’s verification process.
“This shows me that our numbers are trending down across the board, slightly,” remarks School Committee Chair Julie Broussard. “It appears our school population, as a whole, is trending downwards, but these things are cyclical.”
Brand also provided data indicating that, over the past two years, 33.4% of graduating 8th graders (204 out of 610) left the school district.
After the 2016-2017 school year, 98 8th graders left the district. 68 went to the Shawsheen Tech, 25 went to private schools, and 1 went to Minuteman Tech.
After the 2017-2018 school year, 106 8th graders left the district. 80 went to the Shawsheen Tech, 25 went to private schools, and 1 went to Essex Aggie.
“I was surprised to see these numbers, to be honest,” admitted Superintendent Dr. Glenn Brand. “I’ve heard a fair amount of worry or concern in the community about how many students are leaving at the end of 8th grade… It is accurate to say that, over the past two years, we are losing a good number of students to a variety of other placements.”
Brand intends to “dig in” to the numbers even further and examine data from prior years. He promised to report back to the board with his findings.
“I think it’s great that you’re [studying this],” said School Committee Vice Chair Jennifer Bryson. “I’m mostly curious about why folks are leaving for private. I’d love to know in an exit interview why they’re making that choice.”
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