School Enrollment Data

Following up on the census data below, here are the changing demographics of the Randolph Public Schools over the last few years.  These numbers are a useful complement to census data for two reasons.  First, they are more frequently and recently updated.  Second, in a modern American suburb where people have very few places to come together the schools are the center of the community.  All these data are taken from the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

This first chart shows the change in school enrollment since the 2002-03 school year (prior years data is available in percentage form, but DESE reports counts from 02-03 on).  This time period is also widely noted (in my interviews and in the press at least) as the period of greatest struggle in the Randolph Public Schools.  Note the declining overall enrollment, lead primarily by a drop in the white student population.

RPS Enrollment #

School demographic data is also useful for highlighting the complex work that the Randolph Public Schools must undertake.  Randolph’s population of students whose first language is not English and of students from low-income families is comparable to what we normally think of as urban school districts.  (Have we figured out whether Randolph is a city or suburb yet?)

% Low Income

Data on the 1995-96 and 96-97 school years was not available on the DESE website.  Also, I am not quite sure what happened in the 2002-03 school year that the percent of students whose first language is not English jumped like that.  It was the same year that the Unz Amendment ballot initiative outlawed bilingual education in Massachusetts.  Perhaps the schools started categorizing students differently after that.  In any case, Randolph today has the 9th highest percentage of students whose first language is not English of all school districts in the state.  That provides a challenge to a school system, but it also speaks to the tremendous linguistic talents present in the Randolph schools.  Wealthier suburbs and private schools go to great lengths to try to expose their students to a multitude of languages to prepare them for a global economy.  Randolph students get that for free from each other.

Top 20 FLNE Districts
1 Chelsea
2 Lawrence
3 Holyoke
4 Somerville
5 Lynn
6 Lowell
7 Revere
8 Everett
9 Randolph
10 Worcester
11 Malden
12 Boston
13 Waltham
14 Framingham
15 Brockton
16 Watertown
17 Fitchburg
18 Brookline
19 Quincy
20 Cambridge

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One Response to “School Enrollment Data”

  1. duffy Says:

    “Second, in a modern American suburb where people have very few places to come together the schools are the center of the community.”

    it’s so apparent and yet i have never thought of it/recognized/acknowledged it that way. even when we had to design an elementary school for studio i don’t think one architecture student even looked beyond the type of schooling their environment would provide rather than the nature of school within community.

    huh. you urban planners.

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