Enrollment at Willard and Lincoln schools is projected to decline this year while it rises ever so slightly at Roosevelt Middle School, according to projections provided by River Forest’s District 90 elementary schools.

Enrollment, which could go up in kindergarten, first and third grades at Willard just before schools open in August, reflects a continuing stable school population in River Forest, said Supt. Edward Condon.

Over the past five years, district enrollment has ranged from a high of 1,354 in the 2010 school year to 1,333 last year, according to projections determined for the district by John Kasarda, a renowned demographer out of the University of North Carolina.

“We hoped we might be seeing some increase in enrollment, given that the real estate market had been more active over the last several years,” Condon said.

The number of pupils at Lincoln is projected to be 382, just a shade under what it was last year. More than 80 pupils are anticipated in second grade, an increase of 15 over last year. The rest of the school population is anticipated to remain relatively equal to what it was last year, according to District 90 figures.

The steepest drop in enrollment is anticipated at Willard, which will go from 323 pupils last year to 286 this year. One section of third grade and a half-day section of kindergarten might not be needed. District figures show that the kindergarten population will drop from 47 to 35, although officials may see a few more youngsters once enrollment has concluded by the end of the summer. The second grade population is declining from 66 last year to 50 this year; fourth grade projections show a drop from 89 last year to 72 this year. The first grade population remains the same at 49, but district officials expect class sizes to grow over the summer.

Roosevelt will go from a school population of 630 last year to 660 this year, with the largest increase coming from a growth in sixth grade; 176 students will be enrolled for the fall, up from 156 last year.

Kindergarten through second grade will have as many as 22 students in each class; third through fourth grade will maintain the range of 19 to 24. Fifth through eighth grade will have between 22 and 27 students in each class, Condon said.

The class sizes are ideal allowing teachers to “really get to know their students and know their needs,” Condon said.

Condon noted the buildings are able to manage the relative small discrepancies in enrollment. There is no indication that additional staff will be needed for next year, although Condon said the district would be providing adequate staff to meet enrollment needs at varying grades.

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