Lindbergh enrollment dips due to COVID-19


Photo by Erin Achenbach

Students walk to class during the passing period at Lindbergh High School Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018.

By Gloria Lloyd, News Editor

Enrollment is down this year at Lindbergh Schools, an unusual development for the school district that officials blame on the COVID-19 pandemic.

Overall, the district has dropped in enrollment by 62 students — a turnaround from trends of the last decade and contrary to a demographic study from the district that showed steadily increasing enrollment for the next decade.

But due to the pandemic, the district added COVID-19 as a reason for withdrawal in the exit survey, and the families of 126 students who withdrew cited COVID-19 as the primary reason for leaving the district. Some of those families said they would home-school, while others chose to go to private schools.

“If you take out the 126, we would have grown this year close to projections, so that’s clearly the variable and the difference maker was the COVID-19-related reasons,” said Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Brian McKenney at the Oct. 13 Board of Education meeting. “It’s good that we can track that, and we anticipate that once things are back to normal, we continue on our normal growth pattern as we’ve got projections from our demographer for the next 10 years of pretty solid growth here at Lindbergh.”

Nearly all Lindbergh students started out all-virtual, with only K-3 starting the school year in person in the hybrid model of classes in buildings two days a week.

Every school and grade was back at least part-time at press time, with elementary school in person five days a week. The district also offers an all-virtual academy, Lindbergh ARC — Accelerated Remote Courses — which has been popular. The district last reported its enrollment Jan. 29.

The district now has 7,081 students. Kindergarten decreased by 35 students, and elementary decreased by 66 students. The district has 3,180 students in elementary, 1,681 in middle school and 2,220 in high school.