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August 8, 2013

School enrollments continue to decline

Declining enrollment trend expected to continue

(Continued)

Nelson did say they are seeing small increases in other grades.

Timberlane Superintendent Earl Metzler said numbers have remained consistent in his district.

“We remain right around 4,000 students,” Metzler said. “We’ve had a statistically insignificant decline, but there are no surprises.”

He said it’s a positive sign for the district.

“It speaks to the support of our four towns for our district,” he said. “It shows families trust us with their most valuable commodity.”

Pelham is seeing a small decline.

“Overall, it is decreasing, but not at such a rapid pace as opposed to other towns,” Superintendent Amanda Lecaroz said. “We are along the I-93 corridor, so we haven’t been as affected as much as other districts.”

In Salem, Superintendent Michael Delahanty expects enrollment to be around 3,920, down a little from 3,946 last year.

“It’s what we projected,” he said. “I think we will keep seeing them go down until they eventually plateau and then start to pick up again.”

A declining enrollment isn’t completely negative.

“It’s been a blessing for us,” Greenberg said. “We were overcrowded significantly, we had larger class sizes and were providing remedial reading instructions in hallways because we just didn’t have the space.”

He said the low enrollment has allowed Londonderry to create art and music rooms for the elementary schools and allowed support services to have its own space.

It’s a similar situation in Salem.

“While we want as many kids to be at school as we can,” Delahanty said, “we’ve been able to reduce the student-to-teacher ratio, which has helped.”

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