Increased number of students opting out of North Kitsap School District

POULSBO — The number of students living within the North Kitsap School District but attending schools elsewhere has reached the highest level in the district's history.

Some 594 students opted to attend schools outside the North Kitsap School District, according to a district report. Information garnered from exit interviews with students who left the district last year — 2012-13 — and up to December 2013, was expected to be presented to the North Kitsap School Board on March 13.

The district receives more than $5,000 in state funding for each full-time student. Based on that figure, the number of students opting out of NKSD means a loss of more than $3 million each year.

The district loses the largest number of students each year to Central Kitsap School District, which 295 students opted to attend as of October 2013. Bainbridge School District drew 106 students from the district; online schools drew 105 students.

The number of students who live out of district but choose to attend North Kitdap schools does not compare to the number the district is losing. As of October 2013, NKSD was "receiving" 96 students from outside its boundaries.

Central Kitsap released the most students, 45, to NKSD. Chimacum released the second most, 25.

An increased number of students living within NKSD's boundaries but attending other districts follows a report in February that predicts a continued decline in total enrollment for the foreseeable future.

A decrease of 339 students in the district is expected between the end of the 2013-14 school year and the 2018-19 school year, according to a preliminary report by Monica Hunsaker, the district's director of finance, business and operations. The report was presented during the Feb. 13 school board meeting.

The district's 2013-14 enrollment is predicted to end with an estimated 5,906 students. That number could continue to decline over the next five school years. By the end of the 2018-19 school year, the district could have 5,567 students.


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