Understanding Enrollment at Hoosac Valley Regional School District: Who Stays, Who Leaves, and Why?
This improvement project was designed in collaboration with Hoosac Valley Regional School District, a rural Massachusetts school district facing a cycle of enrollment decline that is adversely affecting their ability to formulate a budget that offers competitive programming. Researchers sought to understand how to increase and sustain enrollment by identifying push and pull factors that lead families to consider school choice. The project employed an exploratory sequential design that gathered data from focus group participants and then explored findings deeper using quantitative analysis of state reported data. We found that the most salient factors driving school choice were the following: perceptions of disorder within HVRSD schools, low levels of resources, low academic achievement, non-traditional school structures and facilities, and ineffective district-wide communication.
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