Last fall many schools saw a significant drop in kindergarten enrollment as parents kept kindergarten age children home. By some accounts, kindergarten enrollment nationwide dropped 16 percent.
Reports were schools should expect a wave of new kindergarteners this fall. Straus News looked at the numbers and spoke with local school administrators to get a clearer picture of school enrollments in our area.
Unlike so many other schools, Delaware Valley School District saw their kindergarten enrollments swell in the fall of 2020. The previous two years enrollments were in the low 270s.
In the fall of 2020, the number of kindergarteners enrolled jumped to 285. Also unlike other schools, their number remained constant for this year.
“We did see a few more kindergarten students enroll in late summer. But this is not really that unusual,” said Assistant Superintendent Peg Schaffer. “It is not really that different from previous school years.”
Just across the border in Warwick, N.Y. the Warwick Valley School District kindergarten enrollments increased steadily from 2015 to 2019. Then it dropped 8 percent to 215 in the fall of 2020.
But enrollment spiked back to its highest level in the last six years in the fall of 2021.
“We were projecting just over 200 kindergartners for this year,” Leach said. “We got about 30 more.”
Extra preparations were made for the predicted spike in kindergarteners. “We typically have 10 kindergarten teachers,” said Leach. “This year we have 12.”
“To use a sports reference,” said David Leach, Superintendent of Warwick Valley School District, “we believe families ‘redshirted,’ so to speak, incoming kindergartners.”