School enrollment numbers continue to decline

CUMBERLAND — Allegany County Public Schools has 102 fewer students this year than last year, and the kindergarten through 12th grade enrollment decline has been steady for the past five years.

In 2015, the school system had 8,357 students. In 2016, that number dropped to 8,317, followed by 8,212 in 2017, 8,191 in 2018, 8,070 in 2019 and 7,982 for the 2020 school year.

“You might be wondering, what happened? Where did they go? What’s going on with our kids?” Chief Technology Officer Nil Grove said at Tuesday’s school board meeting. “We actually have to record and provide to (the Maryland State Department of Education) where do our students go.”

From the end of June to the end of September:

• 14%, or 55 students, moved from Allegany County to another Maryland county.

• 37%, or 151 students, moved out of state. 

• 18%, or 74 students, left to be home schooled.

 From the end of June to date, 338 students entered ACPS, including:

• 17%, or 56 students, who moved from out of Allegany County.

• 32%, 109 students, who moved from out of state.

• 8%, or 27 students, came from home schools.

“There are some others, but those are our big percentages,” Grove said. 

In other ACPS news:

Allegany County Education Association President Kim Sloane said the lack of available substitute teachers continues to disrupt the learning environment for students.

“In many of these cases, the instructional assistants in the schools are expected to step into the vacancies and act as the substitute (teacher) for the day or a good portion of it,” she said.

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