Cupertino Union School District Cupertino, CA ... Cupertino Union School District 10301 Vista Drive

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    3 West 37th Avenue, Suite 7, San Mateo, CA 94403-4470 • Phone: (650) 345-9765

    Superintendent and Board of Education December 10, 2018 Cupertino Union School District 10301 Vista Drive Cupertino, CA 95014-2091 Dear Superintendent and Board of Education: This is the concluding documentation to our latest forecast update. We begin with the summary below and then provide some background information. Subsequent sections follow the order of the tables, starting with the updated projections in Tables 1 and 2 and then the underlying factors to those numbers in Tables 3 to 8. The appendices provide more detail for those who want to delve further into the data. This is a more data-heavy report than we normally include in “simplified” studies, but the severe recent enrollment decline justifies the additional detail provided. For those wanting a less thorough understanding of this forecast update, we recommend reading the summary below and then focusing on Table 1 (on page 4), especially for the larger classes graduating from eighth, and on Table 3 (page 11), which shows how significant the shift to decline has become in all five middle school attendance areas. Projections Summary Total enrollment in the Cupertino Union School District (henceforth CUSD or district) rose by over 5,500 students, or more than 40%, in the two decades up to the 2013-14 school year and then abruptly shifted into decline, in losing over 1,800 students, or nearly 10%, in the last five years. More than two-thirds of that reduction occurred in just the last two years, so the degree of decline has rapidly increased. Soaring housing costs are assumed to be the main cause of this radical shift, with fewer young families able to move into the district and the continuing families aging past the childbearing years. So as large as the projected drop is in the next four years, in falling by another 1,134 students, that is by a smaller extent than in the recent past and thus could be an overly optimistic forecast. Greater decline is possible. The updated forecast numbers have the total CUSD enrollment falling by 461 students from just October 2018 to October 2019, with smaller but still significant additional reductions in each of the following three years, before rebounding nominally in 2023.1 The projected low point is reached in 2022, with a cumulative decline by 1,134 students from the “current” (October 4, 2018) total. The net projected difference for five years hence is for the total to be down by nearly 1,100 students.

    1 All enrollment and student population figures covered in this report are based on student files provided to EPC by the CUSD,

    except that preschool SDC (Special Day Class, a.k.a., special education) students and NPS (Non-Public-School) students are excluded. All other SDC students, along with a nominal number of Home Study students, are included. Please note that whenever just a year is stated, such as 2023, the reference is for, or in the twelve months to, early October of that year.

  • Projected Enrollments from 2018 to 2023 Cupertino Union School District

    Enrollment Projection Consultants Page 2

    This projected decline occurs in both grade levels, but the larger reductions should be at the middle school level. The current distribution through the grades is a key reason for this, with the largest classes in the upper grades. Those classes will be graduating out of the CUSD in the next four years. The middle school total falls by 179 students in 2019 and a cumulative 702 to 2022 as a result. The elementary level is forecast to have 282 fewer students next year and a cumulative reduction by 432 to 2022, or by less than two-thirds of the middle school decline, despite the latter covering half as many grades. Only modest further changes to the grade level totals are forecast in 2023. Lower-than-projected kindergarten totals in especially 2022 and 2023, however, could create greater decline at the elementary level. (Birth figures relevant to those school years are not available yet.) These falling grade-level totals will not be evenly distributed across the CUSD, and where the greater “resident” (home school) losses are forecast has changed. Our recent studies had the elementary reductions concentrated in the attendance areas that are not in the northeastern part of the district, with some of the greatest losses in the south. Most of the higher single-grade totals (the last part of a “bubble”) in the southern end of the CUSD have now graduated out of those elementaries, however, so these schools have only modest further declines forecast henceforth. The more significant resident elementary reductions from 2018 instead occur in the northeastern and northwestern attendance areas. The Stocklmeir, West Valley, Stevens Creek and Lincoln regions are each projected to have between 33 and 39 fewer students next year. Stocklmeir then has only minor additional change expected in the resident total in subsequent years, but that is a shift from our previous forecast for growth there. Declines to 2023 by at least 60 students, however, are projected for the Nimitz, West Valley, Montclair, Stevens Creek and Lincoln attendance areas. While the Collins and Eisenhower regions are projected to gain significant elementary student numbers by 2023, due mainly to new housing in those locations, that will be insufficient to offset the aggregate decline in the other elementary areas. That same “bubble” that already has graduated out of the southern elementaries is now in the middle school grades for Kennedy and Miller, with correspondingly large negative impacts as those amounts graduate from eighth grade in the next few years. Kennedy’s region is projected to have 82 fewer resident middle school students next year and a cumulative decline by 299 in five years. Miller’s area has a relatively small drop by 28 forecast for 2019 but loses 272 to 2023. Much smaller net changes (by under 100) are forecast in five years for the Cupertino, Hyde and Lawson areas. Background Information We have been providing neighborhood-specific forecast studies for the CUSD since 2006. My firm specializes in these in-depth studies, where each key component of the recent trends is determined, analyzed, compared to the knowledge gained from our experience in over 350 previous studies, and then projected. To do this, we drove literally every street in our first study of the CUSD region to learn the community and divide it into suitable planning areas. Each of those areas represents a single dominant housing type wherever feasible, including by subjective price levels and average home and parcel sizes. We have found that even subtle differences in residential type and value can generate divergent student trends in some districts. As you will read in more detail later in this report, total enrollments in the CUSD and most other South Bay school districts had severe, mostly unexpected shifts to the negative a few years ago. For some districts this was a sudden change from growth to decline, while others went from having stable or moderately declining totals to more significant losses. Soaring housing costs and rents, to a degree that no professionals or enrollment demographers had predicted, are believed to be the main cause of these negative changes. In terms of projections for the CUSD, while all of our earlier forecasts are considered statistically accurate for the one-to-three-year totals, our latest estimates did not foresee the scope of the decline that has just occurred. Last year’s forecast called for a 478-student decline to the current total, which was by a smaller amount than the 585- student drop in the prior year, but greater than any other one-year loss in decades. The actual total instead fell by 648, or 3.6%, which is by nearly 1% more than expected. That is at the outer edge of our “real potential range”.

  • Projected Enrollments from 2018 to 2023 Cupertino Union School District

    Enrollment Projection Consultants Page 3

    District-Wide Projected Enrollments The total projected district enrollment (in TK-8, excluding NPS) falls by 1,134 students in the next four years, with over two-thirds of that (784) in just the next 24 months (see far right column in the bold box in Table 1 on page 4). The expected drop from October 2018 to October 2019 is by 461 students. The reduction in 2019 is by another 323. Smaller annual loses in the 170s are forecast in each of the following two years, resulting in a decline from the current total of 17,353 students to 16,219 in 2022. That is 525 students below what we had forecast for 2022 in our last study. While we rarely have such notable forecast differences between studies only one year apart for the same district, all of the trend findings and expectations discussed in this report justify these lower numbers. A small rebound by 38 students is projected from 2022 to 2023, but there is a wide-potential range for what could occur that far into the future. Further decline in the birth totals since the last year of available data (2016) and/or fewer new housing units being built than are projected could instead create continued enrollment decline. There also is the alternative possibility of more new housing being completed, especially at the Vallco site, which could make the enrollment rebound more notable. We discuss these long-range issues in later sections of this report, but even the most optimistic scenario (with around a 90% probability) has