Report: Hart district enrollment projections contingent on housing developments 

The sign in front of the William S. Hart Union High School District administrative office. Katherine Quezada/The Signal
The sign in front of the William S. Hart Union High School District administrative office. Katherine Quezada/The Signal
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email

The good news for the William S. Hart Union High School District is that its enrollment numbers are projected to stay relatively stable over the next seven years. 

The bad news? It’s going to take some time to reach that point and the district should expect a drop in enrollment in the immediate future, according to David Kaitz, vice president and senior project manager at Davis Demographics. 

In short, Kaitz said the district should expect to lose roughly 300 resident students combined over the next three years before gaining them back and actually improving its current enrollment by about 515 students by the 2030-31 school year. 

The report used student data provided by the district in October, which had the district at 20,312 students at the time compared to 21,388 students in 2020. 

Much of that improvement over time, Kaitz said, is contingent on developments that are currently scheduled for construction actually coming to fruition, and families with school-aged children moving into those new homes. 

“If that development doesn’t happen or it gets cut in half, you’re probably going to start continuing to lose students,” Kaitz said. 

Should everything fall in place as Kaitz is projecting — he noted that his projections for the Hart district were off by 107 students at the junior high level and seven students at the high school level for this school year — then the district would end up seeing a 3.4% increase at the junior high level and 2.1% at the high school level, equating to roughly 206 and 308 students, respectively. 

To get to those numbers, Kaitz said he looked at enrollment numbers and birth numbers for the four feeder districts that the Hart district gets its students from, as well as projectable increases from housing developments and families with school-aged children buying homes that are already there. 

Board member Joe Messina said he’s noticed a trend in the area near Bouquet Canyon Road and Plum Canyon Road that has seen homes with children growing older and not many families with younger children moving in. 

“There’s a lot of families there whose kids I saw grow up over the last 20 years,” Messina said, “and they’re gone now and there’s no new families.” 

According to the report, the areas with the highest percentage of students are Canyon Country and Newhall, with Valencia and Stevenson Ranch not far behind. However, a closer look shows that not every student attends the school that they are placed into based on their residence. 

For example, Canyon High School has 2,206 students living within the district’s boundaries who should be going to that school, though its total enrollment is only at 1,967. Castaic High School is in the opposite situation, with 1,068 resident students but an enrollment of 1,138. 

West Ranch High School and Valencia High School also have higher enrollment numbers than their resident student counts, with the other three comprehensive high schools having lower enrollment numbers. 

What the report does not show is how many school-aged children live in the district’s boundaries who never enrolled in the district and therefore are not represented anywhere in Kaitz’s report, something board members Cherise Moore and Erin Wilson said they would like to know. 

“We’ve talked about why we lost the enrollment and so, to a point, that would help us to be able to determine a little bit of where that enrollment has gone,” Wilson said. 

Moore requested that the district look at getting that data for a future report. 

Related To This Story

Latest NEWS