Loudoun School Enrollment Still Lags Pre-COVID Level

Loudoun County Public Schools announced its 2022-2023 preliminary enrollment numbers Tuesday as the district climbs back toward pre-pandemic student counts.

The report compares the first 10 days of school this year to the first 10 days of school in 2021. This year’s overall numbers showed 674 more students enrolled than last year’s 81,318, bringing this year’s 10-day preliminary count to 81,992.

Director of Planning and GIS Services Beverly Tate said the official enrollment, to be determined on Sept. 30, is projected to be 83,039.

In the pre-COVID September 2019 official count, the school district’s enrollment was 84,175. In September 2020, the official count dropped by 2,671 to 81,504, and last year recovered only 138 students to 81,642. This year the school district projects growing by another 1,397 students, meaning the school district will have recovered just under 60% of the enrollment it lost in the first year of COVID, with 1,136 still to go.

Tate pointed out the division’s 10-day count is at 98.7% of expected enrollment for the Sept. 30 numbers. Enrollment typically grows by several hundred between the 10-day count and official count.

“It’s interesting to see that the numbers are very stable,” Chairman Jeff Morse (Dulles) said.

He noted during the Sept. 12 meeting of the joint School Board/Board of Supervisors Committee that the growth was in line with the projections from last fall.

Tate said her department will begin looking at growth and possible changes to the school district’s Capital Improvement Program next week and report back in a couple of months.

This year in preliminary counts there are 194 more preschool aged children enrolled than last year and 332 more elementary aged students are enrolled bringing the total this year to 34,461. 

There are 19,147 total middle schoolers this year compared to 19,422 last year, a drop of 275 students. And for high school, there are 423 more 9-12 grade students this year than last year’s 26,975.

With the new Elaine E. Thompson Elementary School open this year, three other elementary schools have seen overcrowding relieved.

Creighton’s Corner Elementary School’s in 2021-22 was over its 1,006 building capacity by 122 students. For the 2022-23 school year the school’s preliminary enrollment is 867, about 139 under capacity.

Hovatter Elementary School, too, was crowded that year with a capacity of 960 but a 10-day enrollment of 1,056. This year, the 10-day enrollment is 935.

And Madison’s Trust Elementary School’s building capacity is 1,006 but had 1,179 students at the 10-day count last year, 173 over capacity. This year’s enrolment numbers are below capacity by 63, with a total of 943 students enrolled. 

Morse said he didn’t see any elementary schools that were overcrowded as of Sept. 10, but noted that may change in 20 more days when final numbers are released, and said growth rates in other parts of the county are expected to grow in the coming years. 

“We certainly know that next year the growth rates, especially in the southern portion of the county all along Rt. 15 to the east, are going to continue to grow,” said Morse.

Morse pointed out Brambleton Middle School’s count is well over capacity and that its sister school, Independence High School is nearing capacity quickly. Tate said the increase in Independence’s numbers is partially attributable to more Brambleton Middle School students being moved into modular classrooms at the high school to relieve overcrowding until a new middle school, MS-14, is open.

Brambleton Middle School’s building capacity is 1445, and this year’s 10-day numbers show it being over capacity by 174 students.

Other schools over capacity at the 10-day preliminary enrollment numbers include Loudoun County High School by 37 students, Potomac Falls High School by 44 students, and River Bend Middle School by 63 students. Several high schools including Briar Woods, Freedom, John Champe and Potomac Falls also have modular classrooms on campus, temporarily increasing their capacity.

Virtual distance elementary learners this year totaled 96 compared to 298 last year and virtual distance secondary learners were 186 this year compared to 248 last year. 

The report on the official Sept. 30 enrollment is expected to be presented to the School Board on Oct. 11.

This article was updated at 5:09 p.m. Sept. 16 to correct a typo in the 2020 drop in enrollment.

7 thoughts on “Loudoun School Enrollment Still Lags Pre-COVID Level

  • 2022-09-15 at 3:48 pm

    Parents are demonstrating their extreme dissatisfaction with LCPS by finding education alternatives for their children.

    Enough is enough. The School Board needs to go. LCPS administration needs to go.

    Press the restart button by ridding the school system of “leadership” and staff who are unwilling or unable to teach the basics. Loudoun’s children deserve a better education, free of social experimentation.

  • 2022-09-15 at 5:09 pm

    I recently met a parent during an air flight. She was sitting next to her son who was a 9 year old. I asked her what grade he was in and she stated he was in the 8th grade. i questioned it. She stated his first day of kindergarten was horrifying and she did not agree with restorative justice methods so they decided to home school him. He was a well mannered little boy the entire plane ride. She stated she connected with other parents who home schooled their children and the results were the same. He has progressed better at home and the parents help each other. Why expose your child to behaviors that can not be controlled or are tolerated? But the gains in his education should speak loudly to every parent. Homeschooling may be the best choice you make. God Bless every parent and their children.

  • 2022-09-15 at 5:29 pm

    I don’t think Jeff Morse was wise to make this statement: “We certainly know that next year the growth rates, especially in the southern portion of the county all along Rt. 15 to the east, are going to continue to grow.” With all due respect, in this era of COVID, nothing is certain. It sounds conceited to make such an overconfident statement. On a brighter note, Happy Mexican Independence Day Loudoun!

  • 2022-09-16 at 10:30 am

    Clearly this is a mystery to the school board and teacher’s unions. But a reasonable person might conclude that declaring war on children and their parents while introducing insane policies just might encourage students to seek alternative educational opportunities. Home schooling is up across the nation and Loudoun had several private schools open with massive numbers of applicants.

  • 2022-09-16 at 10:41 am

    Where is our property tax rebate? Why do we still pay the highest property taxes in the state? LCPS is 70% of our property tax. Our county’s population has increased tens of thousands of people in the past couple of years and, yet, LCPS enrollment has dropped by thousands of students. Taxes should be going down accordingly.

    Parents are fleeing LCPS (and for good reason). But the wokester School Board just doesn’t care.

  • 2022-09-26 at 7:17 pm

    So if enrollment is lower than 2019, why has the LCPS budget grown by 20% ? Seems our elected officials either are not asking questions or are not interested in the answers.

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