School district facing 10% decline in enrollment

The Sonoma Valley Unified School District should prepare for a more than 10 percent decline in student enrollment by 2029, according to consultants hired to analyze the district’s demographic data. And two Valley schools should brace for a more than 20 percent drop in numbers over the next 10 years.

The decline could result in significant changes across the district. “As we shrink in size, we would have to rethink our staffing plans or reduce programs,” said Bruce Abbott, associate superintendent of SVUSD. “But I hope as our scores improve over time that more and more families will send their kids to our schools.”

Earlier this year, the school district hired Davis Demographics and Planning, a public-school consulting firm, to analyze SVUSD’s demographic trends to better enable the district to plan for the future use of its facilities.

As part of its analysis, Davis Demographics mapped the district, studied student demographic data, and developed a 10-year student population projection. The firm’s findings will be presented in a public study session at the meeting of the Sonoma Valley Unified School District Board of Trustees on Tuesday, Sept. 17.

The last detailed analysis of district demographics was done in 2001, according to Abbott. “Things have changed in the district since then,” he said.

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