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Glendale Unified enrollment rising

Hoover High and five elementary schools are showing the most growth.

August 24, 2010|By Max Zimbert, max.zimbert@latimes.com

GLENDALE — Glendale Unified officials are reporting an unusually high increase in student enrollment this summer, a likely sign that student populations may expand when campuses open next week, they said.

As of this week, 60 more students have enrolled in Los Angeles County's sixth-largest school district this year than last, officials said. As school offices open this week, Alex Rojas, who oversees attendance for Glendale Unified, said there could be an enrollment surge as parents traditionally enroll at their neighborhood schools, rather than the district offices.

"What we're hoping is that if that's the case for parents who enrolled this summer, there's probably X number of parents waiting for school to open to enroll," he said.

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Strong enrollment is an important factor in how much a school district gets from the state, since funding is calculated based on attendance.

Hoover High School joins Verdugo Woodlands, R.D. White, Lincoln, Fremont and Cerritos elementary schools among the campuses that have grown most over last year, he said.

Throughout the summer, Hoover High Principal Jennifer Earl said she's received several inquiries from prospective families and alumni who are curious about the school's arts curriculum, among other programs.

"The exciting thing is, they are hearing about the school, and they want to come here," she said.

But La Crescenta Elementary School has also seen greater numbers enroll, Principal Kim Bishop said.

In years past, enrollment has come in two waves, at the end of the spring semester and in the early summer, she said.

"This year, for some reason, every day we've enrolled a few more," she said.

That La Crescenta wasn't among the district's top summer enrollment campuses was a sign that an enrollment wave could continue through the beginning of school, Rojas said. Parents can enroll through the school or the district, so parents registering at La Crescenta wouldn't be counted by district staff until later in the semester.

"Given the spike at the district office in summer enrollment, we are pleased that some schools are reporting a continued increase in new enrollments now that schools have reopened," Rojas said.

Combined, student attendance represents the bulk of the district's state funding calculated by the Average Daily Attendance, where more students generate more revenue.

"If we can capture a good little spike this year, we'll get through this year, and next year we'll see the benefits of it," Rojas said. "It's almost like leapfrog — you have one good year and it gets you through two years."

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