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UVA - Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service - Demographics Research Group

The Demographics Research Group at the Weldon Cooper Center is recognized throughout Virginia as the definitive source for population data, for analysis of that data, and for the identification of the impact of population trends on state and local governments.

The Group produces the official annual state school-age population estimates, by which a portion of the state sales and use tax is allocated to localities.

This background informs its expertise in enrollment projections for Falls Church City Public Schools and other individual school divisions, including more than sixty such projections developed under contract over the past four years.

DATA USED
School enrollment projections require the use of birth data and fall membership counts. Birth data are obtained from the Virginia Center for Health Statistics, reported by the county. To ensure that the birth data have been assigned to the correct localities, Cooper Center demographers geocode the residence address of each birth mother and then assign each birth to the locality of residence. Future birth counts are projected based on the division's current age specific fertility rate and the Cooper Center's projected child bearing aged population. The second element of input data - historical and current fall membership counts - are obtained from the school division or from the Virginia Department of Education. Pre-K enrollment is projected by FCCPS.

HISTORICAL COMPARISON OF PROJECTIONS TO ACTUAL ENROLLMENT

PREVIOUS ENROLLMENT PROJECTION REPORTS

2009 - Eperitus

2009 & 2012 - Weldon Cooper

2014 - Weldon Cooper

2015 - Weldon Cooper

2016 - Weldon Cooper

2017 - Weldon Cooper

GRADE-PROGRESSION METHOD

The grade-progression ratio captures the school enrollment patterns of a cohort of children as they move forward in time and progress from grade to grade. Grade progression rations provide detail of how many students advance into the next grade from the lower grade one year before and are determined by dividing the number of students in a particular grade by the number of students from the previous grade in the prevision school year. For example, the 2nd grade/1st grade-progression ratio is found by dividing the current number of 2nd grade students by lat year's number of 1st grade students (In the case of kindergarten, the ratio is the actual enrollment in kindergarten divided by births five years prior). A ratio larger than 1 means there are additional students coming in to the school who were not enrolled in the previous grade. A ratio smaller than 1 means students may be transferring to private school or home school, dropping out, or families with school children are moving away from the community, among other reasons.

Because grade-specific progression ratios can fluctuate considerably from one year to another, it is important to generate and evaluate multiple sets of grade-progression ratios to minimize the "noise". The Cooper Center does this by creating three- and five-year average ratios based on data from those most recent years, along with the single-year ratio of the latest year. All three grade-progression ratios are applied to the current school enrollment data to obtain forecasts for the following year, which then become the basis for projecting enrollment the year after. The projections are based on single- and multiple-year grade progression ratios are compared, and the middle series is selected as most probable.

A NOTE ABOUT PROJECTIONS

School enrollment projections are based, in part, on past student enrollment trends. Since student enrollment can change, enrollment projections should be updated annually to account for any changes in enrollment trends.

The following enrollment graphs are LIVE and reflect current information. There may be a delay in the loading of the page as the graphs are generated.

Falls Church City Public Schools

Since the last class of the "Baby Boom Generation" graduated high school in 1980, Falls Church City Public Schools have been steadily growing.

Jessie Thackrey Preschool

In December of 2014, Jessie Thackrey Preschool opened with five classrooms. After many years in trailers on the Mount Daniel and Thomas Jefferson Elementary sites, it is heartwarming to see our littlest ones in their new facility. The building is approximately 10,000 square feet, and has a light and colorful décor. While the building opened with 5 classrooms, it has the capacity to add two more in the coming years to accommodate 7 preschool rooms.

Mount Daniel School

Mount Daniel School has been a thriving early childhood center for kindergarten and first grade for 40 years. During the 2015-16 school year, the building will undergo large scale demolition and expansion adding nearly 47,000 square feet of new building to house kindergarten, first and second grades.

Thomas Jefferson Elementary

The expansion of Thomas Jefferson is still a fresh delight for the teachers and students in the building. With the return of 5th grade in 2013, the school has seen a fostering of great collaborations between older and younger students, and increased opportunities for the development of leadership and mentoring.

Mary Ellen Henderson Middle

Although a 6th-8th grade middle school is a fairly common configuration in many places, here in Falls Church it's still relatively new as for many years George Mason High housed all grades 6th-12th. Mary Ellen Henderson opened as a brand new school in 2006 and was established as the first Falls Church City middle school.

George Mason High School

George Mason continues to excel across a diverse variety of criteria. Students, teachers, athletes, actors, musicians, poets, scientists and mathematicians make great strides every day. Being the first International Baccalaureate high school in the Commonwealth of Virginia is a long-standing point of pride.

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