As enrollment continues to decline throughout Salisbury Township School District, particularly in its elementary and middle schools in the west, school officials are grappling with how to allocate resources.
- Enrollment has dropped nearly 28 percent at Salisbury Middle School since 2006-2007 and is projected to drop an additional 5 percent in 2012-2013, according to figures released by the school district.
- At Western Salisbury Elementary School, which is next door to the middle school on Devonshire Road, enrollment has dropped nearly 22 percent since 2006-2007 and is projected to drop an additional 8 percent next year.
- Enrollment has remained fairly stable at Harry S. Truman Elementary School, at around 415 students, dropping by 12 students in the last four years.
- Enrollment at both elementary school is projected to drop from 654 students in 2011-2012 to 609 students in 2014-2015.
- Salisbury High School enrollment is project to drop from 557 students in 2012-2012 to 550 students in 2014-2015, a 1.2 percent decline.
- Enrollment in the district is expected to be below 1,600 student next year, down from 1,850 about seven years ago.
"There comes a time when we don't have children in front of the teachers," said Assistant Superintendent Louise Beauchemin at Monday's school board meeting on the proposed 2012-2013 budget.
The elementary schools have reduced the number of classes per grade level over the last three years, Beauchemin said. "We used to have four of every grade at Harry S. Truman and three at Western Salisbury. We now have one less of each," she said. The reductions save the district money, she said.
"The children are not in the district and now the movement of declining enrollment is up to the high school and middle school level," she said.