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District Releases 2020-21 Student Enrollment

NEWS RELEASE: San Diego Unified Releases 2020-2021 Student Enrollment
Posted on 09/18/2020
San Diego Unifed TK students learning

September 18, 2020

 NEWS RELEASE: San Diego Unified Releases 2020-21 Student Enrollment

District Leaders Continue to Caution Against Kindergarten Gap Year, Registration Remains Open

 San Diego Unified School District show a decline in kindergarteners, underscoring concerns among district leaders who have stressed the importance of early-childhood education.

 As of Sept. 16, 2020, 100,348 students were enrolled in district schools, 2,474 below the projection issued before the COVID-19 pandemic. The largest group of students not enrolled falls into the Transitional Kindergarten/Kindergarten grade levels, representing 1,682 students, or about two out of every three of all unenrolled students.

 As the benefits of early childhood education are well-documented, families that have not yet enrolled their 5-year-olds in kindergarten are encouraged to do so.

 “Those early grade-levels are critical times in the life of a student. They set a child up for success in later grades, not just academically, but socially and emotionally as well,” says Superintendent Cindy Marten. “I encourage families to enroll their children in kindergarten now to establish that connection with their schools and to begin their San Diego Unified education.”

 San Diego Unified’s online instruction model includes live, daily teacher interaction and independent learning opportunities. All kindergarteners are issued a district Chromebook and may receive free daily breakfast and lunch at 81 distribution sites around the district.

 “You simply can’t get that kindergarten year back,” said Board Trustee Sharon Whitehurst-Payne. “Kids soak up so much at that age. Whether it’s online or in-person, engaging with a teacher and fellow kindergartners is essential to a child’s progress.”

 An advocate of early childhood education for all, Board Trustee Whitehurst-Payne has expressed disappointment that the Legislature failed to consider SB 1153, which would have required students to attend kindergarten, and the Governor last year vetoed AB197, which would have required districts to offer full-day kindergarten. She is hopeful the Legislature will take up both issues again next year.  

 During online instruction, even the youngest students are receiving the benefits of peer interaction, both inside and outside of class time. One way that’s being fostered is through interactive social pods, like those organized throughout McKinley Elementary School for those who have signed up for kindergarten.

 “All of the staff members who have kinder-age children are enrolling their kids in kindergarten, which shows the importance,” said McKinley Principal Deb Ganderton. “If my son were of school-age, I’d enroll him.

 San Diego Unified is reaching out to families in the district that still have not enrolled their children in school, with special focus on TK/Kindergarten.

 Families are encouraged to enroll their children for kindergarten to begin their K-12 education, and to establish a connection with their San Diego Unified school community.

 To enroll your student, or for more information and enrollment options, visit our Neighborhood Schools and Enrollment page on the district website.

 MEDIA CONTACT: Communications Director Maureen Magee (619) 381-7930