This week’s school zone examines the region’s initial enrollment in school systems.

Welcome to the School Zone, a weekly column on current educational issues and developments inside the Washington, DC, area from WTOP.

What You Should Know About How Many Students Have Returned to DC-area Schools?

What is it: Do students in the Washington, DC, region attend classes in person again?

As the enrollment total is confirmed this fall. Education authorities hope to have an answer to this query.

The coronavirus epidemic has affected some parents’ choices of where and how their kids will attend school. Even while the majority of youngsters had the option to return to school at some point in 2021. Some chose to stay at home instead, enrolling in online pre-kindergarten or kindergarten programs or delaying the commencement of those programs until more vaccines and treatments became readily accessible.

For instance, enrolment decreased in Virginia for the second year in a row in 2021.

More than 10,000 fewer kids were enrolled in public schools in Fairfax County between the fall of 2019 and the fall of 2021. According to the Virginia Department of Education. This indicates a 5.4% drop.

Similar to this, a study from the DC Policy Center research team indicates that enrolment in public and public charter schools in DC will decline over the next few years.

What this means is that the budget for the education system is directly impacted by the number of children enrolled in public schools.

According to Jennifer Wall, a member of the Prince William County, Virginia, school board. If enrollment levels change significantly, it will have an effect on the schools.

She explained that having an excess of teachers or another person due to fewer kids could, in extreme circumstances, result in the closure of a school.

How Many Students Have Returned to DC-area Schools

According to Charles Pyle, a spokesman for the Virginia Department of Education, money was set aside by the state in the budgets for the fiscal years 2023 and 2024 to lessen the effects of falling enrolment.

Although official enrollment figures aren’t confirmed until later in the academic year, many counties in the DC area have provided an early glance at the number of students enrolled in classes.

Regional overview: Arlington, Virginia, schools reported 27,524 students on their first day of attendance. Over 600 extra students have been added after the fall of last year’s official enrollment total.

On September 30th, the official registration will be counted there.

Students Have Returned to DC-area

In its Day 10 tally, the school system in Loudoun County recorded approximately 82,000 students. According to officials, that represents a rise of almost 670 kids over Day 10 from the previous year. the county this week at a meeting of the school board.

More than 179,000 kids were enrolled in Fairfax County Public Schools, the biggest school district in the state, as of September 8. The county had 178,394 pupils planned.

This week, more than 132,000 students are enrolled in classes in Prince George’s County, Maryland, according to a spokesman.

A yearly count is conducted in DC on October 5 or the next working day. In late January or early February, a final verified registration report will be made available.

Speaking points: According to Francisco Duran, superintendent of Arlington, the county is coming out of a period of enrollment expansion. “In the decade prior to the pandemic, enrollment climbed by around 40% or approximately 10,000 kids.

We are witnessing a rebound, according to Beverly Tate, director of planning and GIS services for Loudoun County.

Each rating, according to Tate, “showed an increase from his previous rating from last year.” “On day 10 of kindergarten last year, there were 5,148 pupils. This year, as first graders, there are 5,740”.

Many Students Have Returned to DC-area Schools

More money: Following Mayor Muriel Bowser’s Wednesday signing of a new agreement with the Council of School Officers, more than 800 school principals and other DC employees will now get wage raises.

Since 2020, the group has not signed a new contract.

According to the agreement, wage increases of 2.5%, the same for fiscal years 2021 and 2022, 3.5% for fiscal years 2023, and 4% for fiscal years 2024 would be retroactive.

A new contract between the city and the Washington Teachers’ Union is now being mediated. According to the WTU, teachers have not seen a raise in three years.