A closed elementary school in Mission Viejo and a new Mandarin Chinese immersion program in Laguna Niguel have elementary students in Capistrano Unified shifting to new schools.
Overall, enrollment in Capo is down slightly, as anticipated in this year’s budget – school districts are paid according to how many students they serve.
But the size of the student body at three elementary schools’ is way up. Enrollment at in Mission Viejo is up nearly 21 percent, and the number of students nearby at is up 5.1 percent, Capo’s Board of Trustees learned Monday.
The musical chairs can be attributed to the , said Clark Hampton, deputy superintendent of business and support services.
Barcelona closed at the end of school in June to make way for an expanding , a 1-year-old charter school.
Meanwhile, to two kindergarten classes and one first grade has attracted new students to Bergeson Elementary in Laguna Niguel, Hampton said. That school has seen a 16.7 percent jump in enrollment.
Overall, elementary schools district-wide saw a 0.7 percent decrease compared to last year, he said.
The economy and the natural ebb and flow of residents are also influencing the shifting populations, Hampton said. For example, seven middle schools have seen slight increases in enrollment – Vista Del Mar in Talega, Ladera Ranch, Shorecliffs in San Clemente, Hankey in Mission Viejo, Don Juan Avila in Aliso Viejo, Las Flores and Bernice Ayer in San Clemente – with Vista Del Mar having the biggest change at 8.6 percent.
But five other middle schools saw a decrease: Aliso Viejo (-0.4 percent), Marco Forster in San Juan Capistrano (-0.8 percent), Niguel Hills in Laguna Niguel (-4.7 percent), Newhart in Mission Viejo (-6.6 percent) and Arroyo Vista (-8.9 percent).
Overall, middle school enrollment is only down 0.1 percent across the district, Hampton said.
saw the greatest growth in enrollment this year, according to a Power Point Presentation made Monday to trustees. School officials made a concerted effort to visit middle schools beyond the feeder schools to encourage people to open enroll at Capo’s newest campus in San Juan Capistrano.
The school tipped over the 2,000-mark on Day 1 this month, with 2,054 students, a 8.3 percent over last year. Tesoro High School in Las Flores and Capistrano Valley High School in Mission Viejo saw the biggest decreases, down 4 percent and 6.8 percent respectively.
That’s a .4 percent decrease in the number of high school students district-wide.