Forest Park District 91 provided more information about the fluctuating student population for the 2012-13 school year. According to Superintendent Lou Cavallo, the district now has 818 students, up from 814 in the first week of school.
Cavallo said 85 students, whom the district had expected to return, did not enroll this year. Based on transfer data: 92 percent (78 students) moved or relocated, 7 percent of whom (six students) remained in Forest Park but enrolled in private school. One student is being home schooled.
The largest number of students transferred to Chicago Public Schools, followed closely by Oak Park, then District 89 (Maywood, Bellwood), Cavallo said. The withdrawal rate for the district came to 4.7 percent, and 174 new students enrolled in the district, including 89 kindergarteners.
“We do not always get the opportunity to do exit interviews, since some families simply do not return,” he wrote. “Informally, the secretaries have had the opportunity to talk to some families [who] indicated their rent was too high, and they were forced to move.”
Cavallo noted a demographic survey predicted enrollment would decline. “An updated study has been ordered to get a better projection of enrollment over the next several years,” he said.
Since 2004, the entire system enrollment, K-8, has fallen 20 percent from a high of 1,014.