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Certified Enrollment in Ames 2020
November 17, 2020

Enrollment in Ames Down for the 2020-2021 School Year

Certified Enrollment in Ames 2020

Across the state, October 1st marks the official “count day” for certified enrollment, which is the annual report of enrolled resident students used for the Iowa School Finance Formula calculation. After recent years of steep increases, certified enrollment decreased for this year. Here is a snapshot of key statistics:

  • Certified enrollment is 4,352.6 students.
  • This is -125.31 from a year ago.
  • The gain from open enrollment and whole grade sharing is +232.5 (down 100.4 from a year before).
  • Preschool students total 253 students who are not included in certified enrollment, +15 from a year ago. 
  • The actual number of students served in the District is 5,121.

This year’s certified enrollment was 4,352.6 students, which is down 125.31 students from a year ago. The graph below shows the trends over the last 36 years.

Certified Enrollment graph since the 1980s

Certified enrollment is a weighted formula that counts various groups of students differently. The actual number of PK-12th grade students served in our District on October 1 was 5,121. This includes 318 students through our state-wide voluntary partner preschool programs, placement programs, non-public and public shared time agreements, and our homeschool assistance program (HSAP).  

These numbers play a critical role in identifying both demographic and capacity trends in our district and serve as the foundation for calculating certified enrollment.  

Ames has a number of students who attend from outside Districts. Students who open enroll into Ames and due to whole grade sharing agreements equals 453 students. This compares to 221 students from within Ames who enroll out. This is a net of +232 students. For a historical perspective, the 2011 certified enrollment showed 205 Ames students open enrolling out of the district while 276 neighboring students were opening enrolling in, for a net of +71 students. (See graph below)

Open enrollment in and out graph

Recent enrollment data for the certified count and the actual number of students in our buildings peaked in the mid-1990s, which was followed by a decade of enrollment decline. The actual number of students served in Ames slowly increased in the 2000s and spiked more recently over the past several years.

Certified enrollment is used for funding purposes with the state of Iowa. The actual number of students served in Ames is higher because it accounts for students who are also open enrolled into Ames, and this number better reflects enrollment in our District.