How Student Yield from New Housing Empowers Districts to Plan for the Future

Posted by Ron Van OrdenO

October 17, 2019


Student yield studies enable districts to make informed planning decisions by forecasting the number of students they are likely to gain from new housing developments.

Many factors go into forecasting a district’s student enrollment, but one of the most significant is the impact of new housing in the district’s community. Depending on each housing project’s size and expected completion date, the number of students a district must accommodate could rise dramatically from one year to the next. Some districts attempt to keep tabs on these developments themselves, but without access to precise forecasting tools, it’s difficult to do so with a high level of accuracy.

How Does Hoonuit Determine Student Yield from New Housing?

The student yield or student generation rate impacts the number of students a district is likely to gain from new housing developments. These forecasts are calculated using a district’s residential development numbers and student generation rates. While these figures can sometimes be drawn from existing district records, more often than not, district leaders work with Hoonuit’s analysts to collect the most accurate, up-to-date information.

The first step in determining student yield is to compile a list of known housing projects. Hoonuit’s staff begins by contacting a district’s officials in order to tap into pre-existing contacts and information. In California, for example, Ed Code allows school districts to levy fees on residential construction projects within a school district’s boundaries. Developers must pay these fees directly to the district. These records provide an excellent first step in compiling a masterlist of all new residential projects. Hoonuit’s staff also contacts all relevant planning departments and developers in order to confirm unit counts and other essential details such as housing types and occupancy timelines.

Hoonuit updates the student yield analysis each year that we work with a district. In June, our analysts begin putting together the annual residential development study, and this work continues throughout the summer.

Building a Comprehensive New Housing Report

In addition to housing counts, types, and occupancy schedules, Hoonuit uses up-to-date student generation rates to build our annual residential development reports. Some districts have already calculated these rates, in which case our analysts can use them to inform the enrollment projection report. If a district has not calculated its student generation rate, Hoonuit uses our default student generation rates, which are based on comprehensive data compiled and updated on a triennial basis.

Our analysts then determine student yield by multiplying student generation rates by proposed housing units. We typically assess all development projects in a district over 10 units. The type of unit is significant, since a detached home and a multi-unit attached home will have different student generation rates. This analysis ultimately leads to a projection of expected students per grade for each development. For example, the report below predicts that the district can initially expect to enroll approximately seven new kindergarten students from this particular project. Further, as new units come online, the project will generate a maximum of 29 kindergarten students.

Hoonuit student yield projection table

Hoonuit provides both moderate and conservative projections for student yield. The moderate occupancy counts denote information provided by districts, planning departments, and developers. The conservative occupancy counts account for construction delays, and therefore spread the occupancy figures over a slightly longer period of time.

This process culminates in the creation and distribution of a preliminary research report. The report is provided to district leaders, who then have the opportunity to give feedback. Upon completion, the new residential development data becomes an integral and essential part of the Enrollment Analytics deliverables.

Hoonuit’s Enrollment Analytics solution provides school districts with precise enrollment information to inform their critical decision-making. This fusion of technology, process, and analytics can not only streamline planning, but also improve student outcomes. Armed with actionable insights, district leaders will be prepared to meet the future head on, and provide each student with the support and resources they need to succeed.

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