H.W. Mountz sees declining enrollment continuing

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SPRING LAKE — The enrollment at H.W. Mountz has declined over the past five years and is projected to continue to decline over the next five years, according to a demographic study commissioned by the school district.

The study was presented to the Spring Lake Board of Education at its meeting on Monday, Aug. 21. It was commissioned by the school district as part of the completion of its strategic plan, according to Superintendent Raymond Boccuti.

“People have discussed enrollment here for sometime, but there has not been a study that I could find in the history here,” said Mr. Boccuti. “We moved forward and hired a professional to do a demographic study so we were talking from scientific projections rather than just hearsay.”

The study, which was completed in March, was prepared by Richard S. Grip of Statistical Forecasting LLC.

Since the district’s peak enrollment of 269 students in the 2011-2012 school year, the district has lost 72 students.

According to enrollment projection figures based on the last five years of historical enrollment data, the projected enrollment at H.W. Mountz for the 2017-2018 year is 187; 177 for 2018-2019; 158 for 2019-2020; 151 for 2020-2021; and 149 for 2021-2022, after which a stabilization of enrollment numbers will occur, Mr. Grip predicts.

According to Mr. Grip, this is due to a lower number of primary occupants in the borough, an older population and declining birth rates that have led to fewer children entering kindergarten.

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