School enrollment on Cape Cod down 1 percent

Nauset, Sandwich plummet: Area school enrollment has fallen 27 percent since 2001, dropped 300 in past year

28,053 attend Cape area schools, 300 fewer than last year

Cape area school enrollment remained fairly stable this year, with a modest drop of 1.06% from last year. In Fiscal 2015, school districts from Wareham to Provincetown enrolled 28,053 students, down from 28,353 last year (see the chart at the bottom).

Winners: Orleans Elementary, Monomoy Regional, Upper Cape Tech

Orleans Elementary School’s enrollment grew 3.81% this year, with 8 additional students enrolled. Monomoy Regionional added 65 students for a growth of 3.48%. Upper Cape Tech grew 3.48% with the addition of 22 students.

Monomoy still faces a challenge to enroll 700 students in grades 8-12 next fall. Using their current grade 7-11 enrollment, they will enroll no more than 666 students in September 2015. Monomoy’s funding from the Massachusetts School Building Authority was contingent upon the school enrolling 700 students. Many believe this could force seventh graders into the high school to fulfill that commitment.

Nine districts in our study group showed some level of growth and ten lost enrollment.

Lower/Outer Cape Shrinkage

The small elementary districts on the Lower/Outer Cape were hit especially hard this year, perhaps reflecting the common belief that young families cannot afford high local housing costs.

Eastham Elementary School (an independent district) lost 14.15% of its students. The tiny Truro district lost 9 students – 6.57% of its enrollment. Wellfleet dropped by 5.60%.

Nauset, Sandwich Plummet

Sandwich Public Schools’ enrollment fell 4.77% to 2,873, while the Nauset Region (grades 8-12) fell by 4.36%, from 1,584 to 1,515.

Barnstable, D-Y, Falmouth Stable

After years of large losses, Barnstable, Dennis-Yarmouth and Falmouth maintained relatively steady enrollments this year. Barnstable gained 30 students and D-Y lost 17, statistically insignificant numbers in districts that enroll 5,224 and 3,027 respectively.

Falmouth gained six students this year, leaving their enrollment at 3,547.

Area Enrollment is Down 26.99% Since 2001

Area school enrollment has dropped 26.99% since Fiscal 2001, when the schools enrolled some 38,423 students – 10,070 more than they serve in Fiscal 2015.

Over the past 14 years, Provincetown suffered the biggest enrollment drop. Provincetown lost 65.53% of its students, from 322 to 111. This necessitated the closing of Provincetown High School and realignment of all grade levels to the former high school building.

Brewster lost 30.29% of its students since 2001 and Eastham 36.36%. Sandwich has lost 29.36% since 2001, forcing the realignment of grades and the imminent closing of one K-8 building.


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