School Committee To Look At Enrollment Numbers and Losses to Private Schools

The committee, when it meets tonight, will also recognize teachers who have achieved professional status and the Educator of the Year.


The superintendent is expected to report back to the School Committee tonight on the number of students who have left the district for private schools.

Superintendent Lynn Celli said when the committee met last, Sept. 19, that, overall, school district enrollment this year is up over last year's figure.

As of Sept. 12, when factoring new preschool referrals, the district's enrollment — from preschool to grade 12 (plus two life skills students) — was 2,307.

That compares to a total enrollment of 2,304 on Sept. 6, 2011.

There were 176 students enrolled in the eighth grade at Swampscott Middle School in September of 2011.

In September 2012, the ninth grade class at Swampscott High School had 174 students.

A comparison of the two years reflects a loss of two students, the superintendent said.

School Committee member Jaren Landen asked the superintendent for the specific number of students who have left Swampscott for private schools.

The superintendent said the numbers would be available in October. The agenda for tonight's meeting — 7 pm at Swampscott High School — includes an enrollment report.

School Committee Chairman Larry Beaupre said in an interview that the district has been tracking the students leaving the district for private schools, asking parents of the departing students the reason or reasons why they opted to send their children elsewhere.

Maintaining strong enrollment numbers in the district is important for a couple reasons, he said.

One is that enrollment determines the amount of education funding the district receives from the state.

Two is that people pay a lot of money in taxes in Swampscott and they should expect that their children receive an education equal to or better than the education they get at a private school, he said.

Also on Wednesday the committee is scheduled to recognize Educator of the Year Judith Flynn and the teachers who have achieved professional status.




Myjanda October 10, 2012 at 08:13 PM
John, you are missing the point. It isn't that the Prep is better or worse than SHS - I am sure the Prep is a great school and have no quarrel with anyone who can afford a private school for their children and chooses to send their child to one. I'm also certain kids who leave SHS are leaving for lots of reasons and many do as well if not better in their new school. However, the point is that while some kids leave, others are indeed coming back. It isn't only one person (because I am not only talking about the Prep if you read my email again) but I know of kids who have come back from St. Mary's and also from BBN. I also know of a girl who left SHS to go to St. Marys... Once again, my point wasn't to claim that SHS is better than all other schools, but only to point out what I know from my kids who are both at the high school to be the case, that some kids who leave do come back and that it is important to look at both those kids leaving AND kids returning to get an accurate idea of how our schools are doing.
John October 10, 2012 at 11:05 PM
I am not a Prep pusher. In fact both my kids went to SHS. I am only stating the obvious, the number of children that return are FAR Less than the number that leave the system. In Swampscott, we have a problem with kids leaving after 8th grade. I know for a fact that the percentage is much greater than any other town in the area ... take from that what you will, but its an issue. Most kids return because they can not handle the work or financial reasons, not becuse they really want to come back !
John October 10, 2012 at 11:09 PM
You have No idea how educational funding works in this state. The classes DO NOT get smaller, in fact, just the opposite ... you lose teachers and classes get bigger, much Bigger !
Tom Plumbley October 11, 2012 at 12:47 AM
Two years ago(current Sophmores) between 35-40 kids left after finishing the 8th grade at Middle School. I heard the exact number but can't remember. So lets say 38 left. You get back some kids from Charter schools, Metco, etc. So the numbers look similar. But it is not true. If those kids stayed you'd have 38 more than you have now(and much more funding). The School Department knows full well how many have left. They just are keeping that information close to the vest.
Gayle Bartzoff Rubin October 11, 2012 at 05:47 PM
To get an accurate picture we need to track each grade from K-12, with changes as a %. It is only recently that the administration started tracking the information, so it will be hard to go backwards. There will always be additions and subtractions, however, large group departures indicate something. Some will return for a multitude of reasons. As an advocate of the public schools yet making the very difficult decision to send my kids to a private h.s. (and we wrestled with the issue) students are not returning because Swampscott offers a better education. There are significant problems in the school system that are in the process of being addressed, on the radar screen or will eventually make it to the list. The cumulative effect ofmissed Chapter 70 funds, we have had to do with much less than other communities - therefore systems broke or decayed - there just wasn't the moneyto maintain and compete at the same level as many cohort schools. Many have worked long and hard to do the best with what we have. For us, it just could not be fixed fast enough. Each month we gasp as we pay the tuition but do so knowing it is worthwhile. Everyone has to make their own decision and reach conclusions that works for their families. What is best for all of Swampscott is to fight for full restore of Chapter 70 funds - our fair share! Dave Whalen you are greatly missed!


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »