School Enrollment


Fatima Aroma, Staff Writer

Rancho Dominguez Prep is currently facing a very big dilemma involving school enrollment, which is way lower than anticipated at around 830 students when it was expected to be over 880.

“Our enrollment is suppose to be around 880, and right now we have about 830,” said  assistant principal Brian Hannon.

Low enrollment correlates heavily with the L.A. Unified’s slowly declining student enrollment over the past decade. Although, specifically this is due to a group of things like students transferring to schools in other districts, students moving out-of-state, and a varied set of programs found at other larger campuses in the harbor area.

This is very important because the district (LAUSD) looks at the number of students attending the school, the teachers, counselors, administrators and staff from both the high school and middle school. Using these statistics, the district decides how much money they give to the school to fund its programs.

The day the district decides all these figures is on September 15th, typically referred to as Norm Day. The importance of Norm Day is that it establishes budgets and determines the amount of teachers the district pays for at each school. Since the school is currently under enrolled, it’s anticipated that the district will not cover one of the teachers salaries which is around 110,000 dollars a year.

“Norm day is the day where the district collects our enrollment, and that’s our official enrollment for the year… this is crucial because the school’s funding is based on student enrollment,” said Hannon.

During the last Shared Leadership Council, the council strategized that they’d use their carry over money from the year before to help fund this teacher vacancy, with also possibly allocating money from other budgets and funds to pay for this teaching position.  

Norm day is five weeks after the first day of school, because not a lot of students come on the first week. They are either taking an extended vacation having them miss the first couple of days/weeks of school, or they try to attend a different school. Ultimately, not being able to do so having to resort to a different school l. If the school is not part of the same district, they would wait for that school to start for them to switch over there, especially in the Long Beach area where students might transfer from the Long Beach Unified Unified School District.

“Long Beach schools started yesterday on August 30, so now all of a sudden we got four new students today (August 31)” said Hannon.

A source of conflict to this low enrollment was seen by high school students who saw sixth graders with lockers in the blue building on campus, leading to confusion and the idea that the school had a very large sixth grade class.

However, this was not true. The number of six students was actually the average amount the school usually receives every year.

“Sixth grade has about 85 to 88 students, which is about normal,” said Hannon.

The reason high schoolers are seeing middle school students in the high school section of campus is because lockers in the green building weren’t opening leaving students to receive a temporary locker in the blue building, until the administration is able to open lockers in the green building.

Despite, enrollment issues and confusion Rancho Dominguez Prep enrollment is below average, but no real large changes should be seen on the side of students as long as the Shared Leadership Council is able to allocate enough funds from carryover money and other budgets to continue paying the teaching position.