Friday, January 21, 2011

Growing or Shrinking

Living in Dryden has a piece on zoning in which Simon looks at the importance of zoning as dependent on growth rate. We all await numbers from the new census, but I do have a couple of graphs I've made of student population that make "shrinking" seem a more likely scenario than "lots of growth"--unless something dramatic happens soon.

It's worth noting that the numbers at the elementary schools shift as students are bused from year to year in an effort to keep Freeville and Cassavant populated. Cassavant is usually a K-3 school, although it spent a couple of years as a K-2. Freeville is K-2. Dryden Elementary School is K-5. The Middle School is 6-8, and the High School is 9-12.
LATER: Simon requested another graph, and I'm adding a fourth just for fun--one that more clearly shows the approximately 14 percent decline in school population in the district over the decade-plus-one in question. It's interesting to note, for all you small-schools buffs, that the total 2008-2009 elementary population is less than the peak 1999-2000 population of Dryden Elementary School alone.


Simon said...

This is great!

One small request, though - could you post a version that combines all the elementary schools into a total? The trend clearly seems down, but it's a little tricky to figure out how far down.


KAZ said...


Simon said...

Wonderful - thank you. That makes it painfully clear.

martin said...

Simon and KaZ are great assets to our town. Thank you both.
A question: is it possible that older people are sticking around and increasing in number while families with children are declining?
Another: what happens to population trends in the Town of Dryden when the portion of the town residents who send children to Ithaca schools is factored in?

KAZ said...

Martin asks interesting questions--ones I can't really answer. The census shows a 5.5 percent increase in county population between 2000 and 2009. In 2000 in Dryden, according to Wikipedia (which got it from the census), 30.9 percent of the 5,455 households in the town had kids under the age of 18. Until we see the 2010 census, we won't really know how that has changed.
Dryden kids who attend Ithaca schools tend to go to Caroline or Belle Sherman Elementary Schools. In 1998-99, Belle Sherman had 389 kids. In 2008-08 it had 297. In 1998-99, Caroline had 382 kids. In 2008-09, it had 297. In 1998-99, Dewitt Middle School had 691 kids. In 2008-09 it had 484. In 1998-99, Ithaca High School had 1,646 kids. In 2008-09 it had 1,554.
I don't know any local rural schools that have not lost population.