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UHEF & Uni News

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Dec, 2017

Not like the old days: Uni’s attendance decline

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[Posted December 1, 2017] As noted in our November 15 issue, Uni is working toward a new status as a community charter high school (more details here) in significant part because of declining enrollment.

The draft outline of the proposed Affiliated Charter program notes in part, “[D]espite its academic, community partnership, and facility revitalization achievements, University High has experienced decreasing enrollment: as an increasing number of community families elect to send their high-school age students to nearby affiliated charter and independent charter high schools.” In fact, the downturn has been dramatic:

  • 2012-13: 1,897
  • 2013-14: 1,804
  • 2014-15: 1,763
  • 2015-16: 1,671 with 73% from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds, but an 87.8% graduation rate!

Uni is not alone in this situation, for example when compared with its Western League (past and present) brethren for the 2016-17 school year:

  • Palisades Charter:   2,970  (31% disadvantaged; 95.1% graduation rate)
  • Hamilton:  2,879 (65% ~ 83.2%)
  • Fairfax:  2,047 (79% ~ 81.9%)
  • Venice:  2,005 (72% ~ 78.8%)
  • Los Angeles CES:  1,648 (55% ~ 96.9%)
  • Los Angeles:  1,380 (89% ~ 67.0%)
  • Westchester Health & Sports Science Magnet:  1,121 (57% ~ 78.7%)

(Westchester’s second magnet is not tracked by the California School Dashboard statistics service, so its enrollment is understated above.)

It’s a long way from Uni’s historical enrollment, which peaked at nearly 4,000 in 1960-61 (prior to the opening of Palisades in the fall of 1961) and was typically around 3,000 for grades 10-12 in the 1970s. Over the past 30 years:

  • 1988: 2,401
  • 1992: 2,051
  • 1996: 2,356
  • 2000: 2,411
  • 2001: 2,579
  • 2002: 2,462
  • 2003: 2,462
  • 2004: 2,446
  • 2005: 2,419
  • 2006: 2,508
  • 2007: 2,384
  • 2008: 2,297
  • 2009: 2,364
  • 2010: 2,226
  • 2011: 2,233
  • 2012: 1,897
  • 2013: 1,804
  • 2014: 1,763
  • 2015: 1,671

Uni expanded to four grades – 9 to 12 – in 1995-96 after decades of hosting grades 10-12 since 1938-39, so the decrease is even more noticeable.

The school’s Web site has a page dedicated to the Affiliated Charter application process here.

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