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News Release - Statewide Enrollment Grows 1.3 Percent

Jan. 11, 2011

News Release

Statewide Enrollment Grows 1.3 Percent

The Colorado Department of Education announced today the statewide pupil count for the 2010-2011 school year increased by 10,948 over the previous year, bringing the total to 843,316 public school students.

The change represents an increase of 1.3 percent, a growth rate slightly less than the 2009-2010 jump of 1.7 percent. In 2008-2009, enrollment surged 2 percent, the largest increase in recent history.

The change left the list of Colorado’s 15 largest school districts in the same rank order. The state’s third largest district, Douglas County Schools, jumped over the 60,000-student mark for the first time. In 1990, Douglas County served 13,125 students and in 2000 its enrollment stood at 34,918.

The largest 15 districts are Jeffco Public Schools (85,938 students), Denver Public Schools (78,317), Douglas County Schools (61,465), Cherry Creek Schools (52,166), Adams 12 Five Star Schools (41,957), Aurora Public Schools (38,605), Colorado Springs School District 11 (29,459), Boulder Valley School District (29,526), St. Vrain Valley School District (27,379), Poudre School District (26,923), Academy School District 20 (23,119), Mesa County Valley School District 51 (22,091), Greeley-Evans School District 6 (19,623), Pueblo City Schools (18,420) and Littleton Public Schools (15,733).

These 15 school districts represent 67.7 percent of the total statewide enrollment (570,721 students in all).

On the other end of the size spectrum, 106 of Colorado’s 181 local education agencies have an enrollment of fewer than 1,000 students These 106 local education agencies enrolled just 4.2 percent of the total number of students in the state in 2010.

A larger group of 132 local education agencies have an enrollment of fewer than 2,000 students. These 132 agencies enrolled just 8.5 percent of the total number of students in the state in 2010. To put it another way, about three quarters of the local education agencies in Colorado serve less than 10 percent of the students.

Race and Ethnicity Data

The enrollment collection this year marks the first time data are being reported under the new federal requirements for how race and ethnicity information is gathered. This year, parents were asked a two-part question when filling out enrollment forms, allowing for six ethnic and racial categories (full list below). The first question asked whether their students could be considered to be of Hispanic or Latino origin and the second question asked to indicate the category or categories that describe each student’s race.

The resulting data show an increase in the total percentage of students who are Hispanic or Latino in origin—from 28.6 percent of all students in 2009 to 31.6 percent of students in 2010.

The data also generated a new category—2.8 percent of Colorado students identify themselves as representing two or more races.

The shift resulted in declines in all other racial categories from 2009 to 2010. The white population declined from 60.6 percent in 2009 to 56.8 percent in 2010, black students from 5.9 percent to 4.8 percent, Asian students from 3.7 percent to 2.9 percent and American Indians from 1.2 percent to .9 percent.

The six new federal definitions for ethnic and racial categories are:

  • Hispanic or Latino: A person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race. The term “Spanish origin” can be used in addition to “Hispanic/Latino or Latino.”
  • American Indian or Alaska Native: A person having origins in any of the original peoples of North and South America (including Central America) and who maintains a tribal affiliation or community attachment.
  • Asian: A person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippine Islands, Thailand and Vietnam.
  • Black or African-American: Persons having origins in any of the Black racial groups of Africa.
  • White: A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East or North Africa.
  • Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander: A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa or other Pacific islands.

Fast-Growing Districts

The districts with the largest student enrollment increases from 2009-2010 to 2010-2011 include Julesburg School District Re-1, up 550 students (44.5 percent increase); Mapleton School District, up 1,859 students (32.2 percent increase) and the Charter School Institute, up 1,400 students (21.3 percent increase).

Online Enrollment Surges

The 2010-2011 enrollment totals include 15,249 students registered to online educational programs. That total is 1.8 percent of all students.

The current enrollment reflects a 14 percent increase from 2009-2010, when there were 13,128 students in online programs. In 2002-2003, there were just 1,876 students in online programs and, at the time, those students reflected .25 percent of the entire statewide enrollment.

Streak Continues

Statewide enrollment has grown every year since 1989, when the total stood at 562,755.

For access to the complete 2010-2011 school year student count information, click “2010 Pupil Membership” on http://www.cde.state.co.us/index_stats.htm.

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