Clearfield Board Reviews Student Enrollment, Staffing Numbers

CLEARFIELD – As part of preparation for future plans and decisions, the Clearfield Area School District Board of Directors reviewed student enrollment and staffing numbers for the previous five years at Monday night’s committee meetings.

“It will be your guide for the future,” said Interim Superintendent Dr. J. Thomas Frantz, adding that it would help them reach decisions down the road.

According to Frantz, the district has a total enrollment of 2,437 students for the 2010-11 academic year. He indicated that it was down by 95 students. The district had 2,532 students last year, which was a decrease of 103 students, he said.

He said that the district’s total enrollment was 2,635 students in 2008-09; 2,671 students in 2007-08; and 2,758 students in 2006-07. Over five years, he indicated that the enrollment has declined by 321 students.

Although total student enrollment numbers have dropped, Frantz pointed out that staffing hasn’t really experienced any changes. He said the district had 383 total employees in 2006-07, and they currently have 386 employees in 2010-11.

Frantz suggested that the board consider both sets of numbers and determine if they are an ideal fit. He said they could maintain their current staff of 205 teachers but may not want to if there are only three students in a course, for example. At the same time, he said it’d be an effective choice for an advanced placement class setting.

At the high school, he said there are 882 students to 68 teachers. In 2006-07, he said there were 994 students to 69 teachers. He also said they currently send 100 students, which is a 30-student decrease from last year, to the Clearfield County Career and Technology Center.

Board member Mary Anne Jackson asked if there was any way to track student dropouts. Frantz advised that the high school’s guidance department has the information archived.

High School Principal Kevin Wallace noted that the state now requires all student dropouts to be tracked from grade nine on. He said their graduation rate was 82 percent last year.

Frantz said there are currently 737 total students enrolled at the Clearfield Middle School, which consists of fifth through eighth grades. He said it was “down significantly,” with a negative yearly change of 70 students.

According to him, the middle school had 859 total students in 2006-07. At that time, he said the district employed 56 teachers but added two in 2008-09. He said the district has employed 58 teachers there each of the past three years.

Further, he said there are currently 818 total students to 79 teachers in the district’s four elementary schools. He said it was only a decrease of four students from last year. He said there were 905 students enrolled to 80 teachers five years ago. He said the district saw declines of 41 students in 2007-08 and of 33 students in 2009-10.

Frantz believed this year’s Kindergarten numbers will prove to be an indicator for the years to come. As of now, he said they have 161 students in kindergarten.

“I think it will be a new level to expect. We have a good, solid starting point for the future,” he said.

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