3 Ways Hoonuit Can Take Your Enrollment Forecasting to the Next Level

Posted by Ron Van OrdenO

September 19, 2019

Advanced enrollment analytics can help district leaders make well-informed, data-driven decisions.

Enrollment forecasting — the act of predicting how many students a school district will have in a given year (and beyond) — is no easy task. New housing developments, shifting demographics (particularly related to age), and a host of other variables can all affect the number of students who enroll in a particular district each year.

Traditionally, district leaders have turned to demographers to help them predict their enrollment and ensure their schools are positioned for success. But while demographers are able to provide high-level insight into the volume of students that will be entering or exiting a school district within a certain timeframe, they lack the ability to provide granular insights into key location-specific trends. As a result, while they may know how many students are likely to enroll in their district, district leaders are often in the dark as to where these students are likely to enroll. This can make school-specific planning — to say nothing of attendance boundary modifications — incredibly challenging.

Fortunately, Hoonuit’s Enrollment Analytics solution is designed to dig into a district’s data and provide dynamic, interactive analyses of the district’s student population on a granular, location-specific level. District leaders can leverage our solutions to improve their planning processes in the following ways:

1. Forecasting Student Enrollment Over the Short- and Long-Term

District leaders are responsible for ensuring that the schools in their district will be able to accommodate their enrollment not only next year, but 10 years down the line. Our Enrollment Analytics solution facilitates this process by leveraging a proprietary enrollment projection methodology that incorporates historical data, new housing metrics, and more, providing you with a broad selection of both historical and projected enrollment reports. These reports can be used to evaluate enrollment trends across a district as a whole, or to zoom in on specific neighborhoods and attendance areas. This enables district stakeholders to learn from the past while basing their critical forward-looking decisions on well-organized, reliable data.

But Hoonuit’s full suite of services provides more than just raw enrollment data. We equip districts’ business and operations teams with actionable insights into key student demographics like students with special needs and talented and gifted students, enabling these teams to allocate resources in nuanced, sophisticated ways.

2. Optimizing School Operations Based on Enrollment Trends

All district leaders are constantly striving to maintain the “right” school size — one that hits student-to-teacher ratio targets and drives continuous improvements to student performance. On the one hand, if enrollment rates suddenly decline, classrooms will sit empty and resources will be left underutilized. On the other hand, insofar as they place undue stress on students and teachers alike — to say nothing of the stress they place on budgets — overcrowded schools can put students’ success in jeopardy.

Fortunately, our Enrollment Analytics solution drives operational and financial efficiencies by allowing you to quickly identify which school sites have capacity and which do not. This can be an immense help in enabling you to plan ahead — no more relying on anecdotal evidence or intuition to gauge your facilities’ needs. Our solution helps district leaders explore a range of options — including school consolidation — for addressing their enrollment challenges, all of which are backed by proven data analytics. By pairing these data-driven insights with our proprietary staffing calculator that identifies how many teachers you will need at each school site and each grade level, you can rest assured that your capacity planning will be accurate and you will be able to allocate your resources in the most strategic way possible.

3. Determining When to Propose New Schools or New School Boundaries

District leaders often have to make difficult decisions in pursuit of keeping their schools’ enrollments balanced. This can mean building a new school or modifying school attendance boundaries — both highly political processes that tend to generate a great deal of feedback from community stakeholders.

Our suite of redistricting analysis tools map out existing attendance boundaries and allow you to digitally modify them. From a bird’s-eye view, you can implement a range of design criteria for a potential boundary shift, including balancing racial/ethnic and socioeconomic populations, minimizing the number of impacted students, making more efficient use of existing facilities, and more. Coupled with the projections produced by our Enrollment Analytics solution, these analyses will help you assess the feasibility — and advisability — of a new school location or new school attendance boundary, not only for the present, but for up to 10 years down the line.

This fusion of technology, process, and analytics enables you to make informed, data-driven decisions that are clearly justifiable — and thus far more likely to earn the support of the community stakeholders who will be most affected by a significant change in district structure.

Finding the Right Fit for Your District

Hoonuit offers a range of solutions that are appropriate for districts of all sizes. Whether you’re looking to orchestrate a school attendance boundary shift or navigate the arrival of multiple new housing developments, our solutions can help district leaders craft enrollment forecasts that leverage a variety of advanced algorithmic predictions. These tools are designed to help you develop a comprehensive understanding of your district. Such an understanding can serve as the foundation of dynamic “what if” scenarios, a vast improvement over traditional static enrollment projections.

Whether you’re in need of a single five-year enrollment forecast or a series of 10-year, by-school, by-grade enrollment forecasts, our Enrollment Analytics solution can provide your team with the actionable data it needs to make key planning decisions — and, in turn, improve student outcomes across your district.

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