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LET US IN - Students line up at Analy's administration office the beginning at the year. Transfer students from outside the district are buoying the high school district's bottom line.

Analy enrollment is up, El Mo is down and district enrollment is up overall due to transfers from other districts like Santa Rosa and Windsor

When the West Sonoma County Union High School District (WSCUHSD) changed its intradistrict transfer policies earlier this year, after discovering that they were in violation of the Ed Code, board watchers wondered what effect this would have on enrollment numbers at the district’s two high schools.

At its meeting on Sept. 11, the WSCUHSD board found out.

While the mass exodus from El Molino that some had feared failed to materialize, the slow bleed continued. In 2018-19, 28 students transferred from El Molino to Analy, while five transferred from Analy to El Molino. In comparison, in 2017-18, 21 students transferred from El Molino to Analy, and 19 students transferred from Analy to El Molino. In the 2016-17 school year, 39 students transferred from El Molino to Analy, while 14 students transferred from Analy to El Molino.

Keeping enrollment numbers up is essential for the financial health of any school because schools are funded primarily through Average Daily Attendance, which is determined by the number of students enrolled and how many days they attend school.

Students from outside the district pump up the numbers

Enrollment for the district overall was higher than predicted, primarily because of the rising number of interdistrict transfers. (An interdistrict transfer happens when a student transfers from a different school district, say from Windsor or Santa Rosa, to WSCUHSD.)

This year, 500 students (more than a quarter of all the students in the district) are from other school districts. Interdistrict transfers provided a rising tide which raised all boats: 396 students from other districts transferred to Analy, while 86 students from other districts transferred to El Molino.

“That’s higher than it’s been in a couple of years,” Superintendent Toni Beal said.

Enrollment numbers fluctuate slightly throughout the year as students move or change schools, but by the end of August, enrollment for the high school district as a whole stood at 1,760 students, with 1,128 students at Analy; 546 at El Molino; and 86 at Laguna.

The good news for all the schools was these numbers were slightly higher than last year, meaning more dollars from the state flowing into the district’s stretched coffers.

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