LACONIA — School District Superintendent Phil McCormack told School Board members earlier this week that he polled other area school districts and learned that while some of them had "mild" increases in enrollment this fall, some of them also had "mild" decreases — like Laconia.
As of October 1, statistics provided by McCormack showed Laconia had an overall population drop of 3.6 percent from 2014 to 2015 and Pemi-Baker Regional School District had an overall drop of 4 percent while other area schools showed slight increases of between one and two percent.
McCormack told School Board members the changes in enrollment reported are "not statistically significant."
Member Mike Persson said to him it looks like the enrollment data shows that Laconia is on a par with other area school districts.
The numbers showed that Inter-Lakes was down seven students or .6 percent from last year, that Moultonborough was down one student or .2 percent, that Winnisquam Regional was up 17 students or 1.1 percent, that Shaker Regional was up 22 students or 1.6-percent and Gilford was up 19 students or 1.6 percent.
McCormack said that although Franklin was included in his poll, its raw numbers should not be considered because the town of Hill started sending some of its students to Newfound Regional instead. He noted that since some seniors and juniors opted to stay in Franklin High School and graduate with their classes, it's nearly impossible to determine any enrollment trends there.
Data provided by McCormack showed 11 more students or 12.3 percent in Laconia were being home schooled with the bulk of the increase — nine students — being at the elementary level. In response to a question, the superintendent indicated the total number of home schooled students in the district was now at 100, but the number of families choosing that course was far less.
He did not provide any raw data on Laconia-resident students who are being educated at private schools.
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