Across the state, October 1st marks the official “count day” for certified enrollment, which is the annual report of enrolled resident students used for the Iowa School Finance Formula calculation. After recent years of steep increases from 2016-2019, certified enrollment decreased last year in a trend that was seen across the state in primarily urban school districts. This year, certified count rebounded from last year’s dip in enrollment. Here is a snapshot of key statistics:
- Certified enrollment is 4,484.45 students.
- This is +133.38 from a year ago.
- The gain from open enrollment and whole grade sharing is +232.5 (down 61 from a year before).
- The actual number of students enrolled in a District program is 5,198 (+77 from a year ago).
This year’s certified enrollment was 4,484.45 students, which is up 133.38 students from a year ago. The graph below shows the trends over the last 37 years.
Certified enrollment is a weighted formula that counts various groups of students differently. The actual number of PK-12th grade students served in our District on October 1 was 5,198. This includes 290 students through our state-wide voluntary partner preschool programs, non-public and public shared time agreements, and our homeschool assistance program (HSAP).
These numbers play a critical role in identifying both demographic and capacity trends in our district and serve as the foundation for calculating certified enrollment. The graph below shows the actual number of students in our buildings.
Ames has a number of students who attend from outside Districts. Students who open enroll into Ames and due to whole grade sharing agreements equals 404 students. This compares to 233 students from within Ames who enroll out. This is a net of +171 students. For a historical perspective, the 2011 certified enrollment showed 205 Ames students open enrolling out of the district while 276 neighboring students were opening enrolling in, for a net of +71 students. (See graph below)
Recent enrollment data for the certified count and the actual number of students in our buildings peaked in the mid-1990s, which was followed by a decade of enrollment decline. The actual number of students served in Ames slowly increased in the 2000s and spiked more recently over the past several years with a dip last year.
Certified enrollment is used for funding purposes with the state of Iowa. The actual number of students served in Ames is higher because it accounts for students who are also open enrolled into Ames, and this number better reflects enrollment in our District.