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Aug 30, 2017 11:07 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Some School Districts See Low New Student Enrollment Numbers

Annemarie Calogrias, a Southampton Elementary School pre-K teacher's assistant, prepares her classroom for the 2017-18 school year. GREG WEHNER
Aug 30, 2017 11:07 AM

A severe drop in the number of kids enrolled in the pre-kindergarten program has made it difficult for Southampton School District officials to prepare for the start of classes next week.

Dr. Nicholas Dyno, Southampton’s superintendent, told School Board members earlier this month that only 30 children had been enrolled in the pre-K program at that time, compared to 68 the year before.

Likewise, kindergarten numbers are lower than they had been in the past, with only 75 students being enrolled as of early August.

On average, the number of students enrolled in the Southampton School District’s pre-K program over the past six years has been 74.5 students, and, in kindergarten, 96, according to Dr. Dyno. “We’re not seeing students enroll like we have in the past,” he told board members.

Dr. Dyno said one of the problems the district faces each year is not knowing the actual number of students who will show up on the first day of class. That’s due, in part, to the fact that families sometimes do not find rental houses or apartments until the summer rental season ends—just as the school year begins.

To prepare for the low numbers of enrolled students, Dr. Dyno has implemented a plan that can be reversed if the numbers do, in fact, go up. He said he plans to reduce the number of pre-K classes from four to three, and will keep one teaching assistant and teacher’s aide position open for the 2017-18 school year.

As of last week, the number of children enrolled in pre-K had only increased to 36 students, according to Dr. Dyno. Currently, the average class size for pre-K is approximately 13 students. For kindergarten, he said, he plans to maintain five classrooms. He also plans to monitor enrollment trends and will modify staffing if needed.

“One of the dangers we all face is we don’t know … unless parents have notified us,” he said. “We don’t know if a student moved out of the district in the summer.”

Dr. Dyno said the numbers also could reflect a decrease in the number of families moving into the area, and he wasn’t sure if Southampton’s situation is unusual.

As of last week, Tuckahoe School District officials said pre-K enrollment was down 11 students compared to last year’s 36 students, though the number of kindergarten students was up 14 students compared to last year’s 22.

But not all districts are seeing the decline.

Stefanie Gomez, the registrar for the Springs Union Free School District, said last Tuesday that the district’s pre-K and kindergarten numbers are about the same as last year. The district’s pre-K program has a 36-student capacity that is split between two sessions. Currently, both classes are full, and six students are on the waiting list.

Ms. Gomez said the parents of those students enrolled have been called and have verified that their children will be attending pre-K in the fall.

Lars Clemensen, the superintendent for the Hampton Bays School District, said the numbers are not out of the ordinary for his district this year. The Hampton Bays district offers four half-day pre-K sessions through vendors, which allow space for 54 students. So far, Mr. Clemensen said, 52 students are enrolled, and every student who entered a lottery to get a spot was at least invited to attend one of the four sessions.

As far as kindergarten is concerned, Mr. Clemensen said there are currently 134 students enrolled, compared to the 156 who completed the program last year. He said the number of students enrolled in kindergarten is lower than the graduating senior class, but said that’s not out of the ordinary.

The Sag Harbor Union Free School District, has actually seen an increase in the number of students enrolled in its pre-K program. So far, approximately 33 students are enrolled, compared to last year’s 30 students. But kindergarten numbers are down sharply: 27 students are currently enrolled, compared to the 73 students enrolled last year, according to the district’s registrar, Kristen Doran.

Mary Adamczyk, the secretary to Sag Harbor Superintendent of Schools Katy Graves, said the numbers are constantly changing this time of year, and district officials will not know the exact number of students who will enroll until the first day of school.

Multiple calls to the Westhampton Beach and East Hampton school districts seeking the number of students enrolled in pre-K and kindergarten programs were not returned.

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By SlimeAlive (1181), Southampton on Aug 30, 17 11:39 AM
You're mumbling ... Something stuck in your craw?
By Just sitting on the taffrail (41), Southampton on Aug 30, 17 9:31 PM
Less families can afford to stay. Becoming more and more of a pop-up community. Less desirable area for young people to remain.
By Mouthampton (439), Southampton on Aug 30, 17 12:08 PM
2 members liked this comment
Exactly Mouthampton. Taxes are continuing to skyrocket. In WHB The Village wants to build a $50 million sewer system for Main Street. Mayor Moore is going back on her promise to put it out to vote and said at the August Village Meeting the Village Board might just approve it without vote. Trustee Rob Rubio said the Village (residents) need to "Bite the Bullet" and put the system in. The cost of running the sewer system will add more to the taxes as will the construction of it. Its been suggest it ...more
By realistic (472), westhampton on Aug 30, 17 12:54 PM
Looks like the stem of illegals crowding onto Long Islanded has at least abated a bit. One of the most underreported stories of the last few years has been the incredible strain put on districts and taxpayers by Obama's "border children" bussed and flown from the border to join their illegal alien relatives on LI. "Replacement migration", look it up.
By NateNewtown (99), east on Aug 30, 17 12:57 PM
Families can't afford live out here. Of course there will be a drop in enrollment.
By TrueHamptons (33), Sag Harbor on Aug 30, 17 2:24 PM
1 member liked this comment
The strain on the HB School District is well reported with children coming from the illegally used motels and overcrowded housing. It has only stabilized due to the pressure from the School Board on the Town to enforce the code and organizations like Concerned Citizens of Hampton Bays (which by the way is having a meeting on Thursday, August 31st at the HB Firehouse at 7 PM). More needs to be done.
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Aug 30, 17 5:00 PM
The schools in Hampton bays are a joke especially the elementary school. We have 8 different kindergarten classes here. No shortage of illegal immigrants in this school.sea cove BELAIRE motel still up and operating and busses still picking up and dropping the kids off from school. It's a joke
By bigblue84 (89), Hampton Bays on Aug 30, 17 6:02 PM
It is horrible, but I think it would be worse if it were not for CCHB. Several people I know have left HB because they don't want to send their kids to the Elementary School and/or sending their kids to the catholic school even though they are not catholic. Come to the CCHB meeting tomorrow at 7 PM at the Firehouse. Let's see how we can help.
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Aug 30, 17 6:23 PM
The kindergarten classes at Hampton Bays, which they're currently only 6, are extremely small. My son had a class of 17 last year. OLH is a wonderful school, but is much more overcrowded. I think you are misinformed here.
By hbnewbie (4), Hampton Bays on Sep 3, 17 8:53 PM
Editing to say that the catholic school isn't overcrowded per se, but has a larger class size with less resources.
By hbnewbie (4), Hampton Bays on Sep 3, 17 8:54 PM
Hampton Bays will have six Kindergarten classes this year, where previously the number was seven. There is a "bubble" that is moving through the system, so the district will see an increase of enrollment in the HS, but a stable (or slightly decreasing) enrollment in the aggregate. Birth rates also are directly correlated to enrollment and the Dept of Health has reported a consistent decline or stabilization. (not sure how long that will last).
By hblc (34), Hampton Bays on Aug 30, 17 6:23 PM
1 member liked this comment
It appears that a sizable percentage of students in these school districts are illegal aliens. The strain and the negative impact this large group of "students" has put on Long Island schools through draining resources is staggering.

Fortunately, Trump, Lee Zeldin, and other common sense politicians are beginning to change the destructive legislation the Democrats pushed on us during the Obama regime.
By BillWillConn3 (180), Southampton on Aug 30, 17 8:23 PM
Since 2011, the HB Schools has seen an increase in enrollment of 3.5% and a decrease in enrollment of 3.25%. HBProud, your evidence is anecdotal.
By hblc (34), Hampton Bays on Aug 30, 17 8:23 PM
A decrease in parochial school enrollment of 3.25%. Excuse the typo.
By hblc (34), Hampton Bays on Aug 30, 17 8:24 PM
A decrease in parochial school enrollment of 3.25%. Excuse the typo.
By hblc (34), Hampton Bays on Aug 30, 17 8:24 PM
I haven't checked the actual numbers, but I wonder what the actual percent from HB is. I suspect that that is not down. Do you have those numbers?
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Aug 30, 17 9:18 PM
and I think that the dismal scores in Newsday speak for themselves.
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Aug 30, 17 9:19 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By hblc (34), Hampton Bays on Aug 30, 17 9:31 PM
I have the numbers. In 2011, 166 kids attended parochial school. Today it's 160. Happy to discuss scores, as well. Enrollment decline has to do with lower birth rates, not as much withdrawals. HB Schools were blamed when enrollment was increasing and now HB Schools are blamed for decreasing enrollment. It's hard to make a goal when the goal post keeps moving.

Re the "dismal scores," those are point-in-time achievement scores. The state also releases growth scores (which Newsday doesn't ...more
By hblc (34), Hampton Bays on Aug 30, 17 9:31 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By hblc (34), Hampton Bays on Aug 30, 17 9:31 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By hblc (34), Hampton Bays on Aug 30, 17 9:31 PM
The percent of HB kids attending parochial schools is: 7.6% in 2011 and 7.1% in 2017.
By hblc (34), Hampton Bays on Aug 30, 17 9:35 PM
I guess my friends are part of the 7.1% since they believe it is in the best interest of their children.
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Aug 30, 17 10:11 PM
1 member liked this comment
The Council for American Private Education states that 10 percent of the student population in the United States attends a private school.
By hblc (34), Hampton Bays on Aug 31, 17 12:03 AM
We respect the choices that parents make that they feel are the best fit for their children. This year, as in years past, we look forward to also welcoming a number of new enrollees from parochial schools. LC
By hblc (34), Hampton Bays on Aug 30, 17 10:16 PM
There was a study done which clearly concluded this very thing would happen and continue for the fosters ke future. When it was recommended that SH merge with Tuckahoe, SH told their neighbors to screw off. So now SH is $50,000,000 in debt for new buildings to accommodate the growth. Deal with it.
By SlimeAlive (1181), Southampton on Aug 31, 17 5:49 AM
Thank you for engaging with the non school community.
What percentage of the HB school population is ESL?
Compared with the beginning of your tenure?
HB school failed to meet the Common Core minimum since over.5% opted out of the testing, how can you determine that there is positive improvement if not all students are being measured?
By dfree (818), hampton bays on Aug 31, 17 8:50 AM
Thank you for the question, DFree. The current ESL population is 24%. That is up from about 13% when I first began. At the same time, 17% of AP-eligible students participated in at least one advanced placement, college-level course. Today, that number is 27% of eligible students. Hampton Bays has a student enrollment that spans the spectrum. Our trajectory and trends are not always a straight path. In 2006, the NYSED school report card cited a 77% four-year graduation rate; today that is ...more
By hblc (34), Hampton Bays on Aug 31, 17 10:44 AM
1 member liked this comment
24% ESL. Unbelievable. Imagine what those resources could have been used for if they were available for the benefit of the legal student population. And yes, I'm perfectly comfortable equating ESL with illegal aliens at those rates, there's no other rational explanation.
By NateNewtown (99), east on Aug 31, 17 11:04 AM

Thank you for the prompt and informative response.

24% is lower than I expected, especially since the US Census numbers project that by the end of this year over 50% of Hampton Bays households will speak a language other than English.

Still that percentage is almost double your initial experience. Amazing change.

A 91% graduation rate is a great improvement:. A follow-up question:. What is the number of graduating Seniors that move on to either a 4 year ...more
By dfree (818), hampton bays on Aug 31, 17 11:48 AM
24 percent ESL but over 50 percent of the kids are Hispanic in the school. If nothing is going to change around here why not take advantage of maybe a bi lingual class that starts from kindergarten on up?
By bigblue84 (89), Hampton Bays on Aug 31, 17 2:01 PM
HBLc, it appears based on the numbers, you are working to truly education the population of students in the school. However, the issue for some of us is that our children need to leave HB at some point and complete with children from other schools for places in high ranking colleges and jobs. While you indicated you look to improvements as a criteria, it is hard to image a young family coming to Hampton Bays seeing the school scores on the real estate websites especially in the elementary school. ...more
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Aug 31, 17 3:26 PM
Blah blah blah Hampton Bays scores, and rankings in the state speak for themselves. Teachers and faculty are trying to save their jobs so they ignore the illegal immigrant problem or the school population would be cut in half. You can build all the fields, and empty tennis courts you want, but it won't mask the horrendous test scores. Bad management, and hiring of friends, and family at the school has just added to the immigration problem.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Aug 31, 17 11:16 PM
1 member liked this comment
I moved all my children from private school to HBs 7 years ago. All are thriving in HBs. While no school is perfect, HBs has by far provided a better education for all of my children than they had previously received. Could it be better if resources weren't being diverted to serve the ESL population? Of course. Do I wish the same resources were used so my children could be bilingual when they graduate? Yes. But has HBs made significant strides (collegiate level
programs, for example), ...more
By Mjkre (2), Hampton bays on Sep 1, 17 7:51 AM
I made my living supporting Science and Engineering firms and from what I saw only the best and the brightest coming from top ivy league schools get those jobs. There is nothing wrong with any profession, but I would want my children to have a choice. I would like to see the numbers of the students from HB getting into those schools. Only time will tell if the strain especially at the elementary school will effect the performance. If I had young children, I am not sure I would take that chance, ...more
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Sep 1, 17 8:26 AM
Would have liked to see Bridgehampton numbers reported. This district needs more transparency with large expansion planned.
By BH11932 (10), Bridgehampton on Sep 1, 17 11:46 AM
1 member liked this comment
Based on the comments here, I discern that all school districts have done a poor job of teaching when to use "less" and when to use "fewer."
By btdt (449), water mill on Sep 4, 17 9:39 PM
2 members liked this comment
"Just pay and keep quiet"
By SlimeAlive (1181), Southampton on Sep 5, 17 6:49 AM
If admission is cut by 40% the budget should be cut by 40%? Nope will never happen the Southampton District will continue hiring people they know for new positions.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Sep 6, 17 7:51 AM