Attendance up at RBUSD

Student enrollment in the Redondo Beach Unified School District is up across the board, showing an increase this new school year of 265 students throughout the dozen district schools.

“Our child development centers are helping to bring more families to our schools,” Superintendent Steven Keller told the school board Tuesday night. “When these families step inside our lovely schools they realize that they are special homes for their children and thereby keep them at our schools.”

“More parents are choosing public over private schools,” Keller said. “In our community, parents who might have considered going private are realizing their public schools are outstanding. Some of these students are coming from private to public and we are having folks move into the community after purposefully selecting our community for our great public schools.”

Some private schools in the area, such as Chadwick School in Palos Verdes, have seen slight decreases. According to Chadwick spokesperson Laurie Hanley, the school’s enrollment dropped from 855 last year to 845 this year. But Hanley emphasized this was due to high enrollment last year rather than a pattern of declining enrollment.

“We have not seen a decline,” Hanley said.

According to spokesperson Ryan Tilson fromVistamar School– another private school, in El Segundo – enrollment is up 17 students to 237. However, Vistamar pulls their student body from more than 70 middle schools, and 50 zip codes, not just recruiting students from theSouthBay.

“We are at capacity for our school,” Tilson said. “All over the area, districts are over-crowding and programs are being cut. If we are unable to enroll a student, often they will try to get permits for Redondo Union or Mira Costa instead.”

RBUSD continues to raise the stakes in test scores, scoring 840 on Academic Performance Index scores this year, 14 points higher than 2010, slowly closing in on Manhattan Beach Unified’s score of 937, Hermosa Beach’s score of 938. Individually, seven out of the 11 RBUSD schools surpassed the 900 mark this year.

“Redondo beach puts out a terrific education program for kids,” said Keller. “Our parents are savvy and realize that their public schools are the best.”

Despite years of budget cuts, RBUSD has tried to add enriching programs to the district, including LiveWell Kids, an educational partnership with the Beach Cities Health District intended to help students’ physical well being.

“We focus on the whole child; meaning the social, emotional, physical, and academic aspects,” said Keller. “Parents are well aware that those aspects play into the academic. Even with the additional enrollment, we have space for each and every one of these children.”

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