District-wide Drop in Enrollment: How It’s Affecting Morse

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     Due to competition with charter schools and other high schools, Morse and the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) had a drastic enrollment drop beginning the 2018-2019 school year, causing schedule changes and staff layoffs.

     During Spring 2018, Morse was expecting nearly 1,800 students to enroll for the upcoming school year, but only 1,727 enrolled.

     “The district’s 2018-2019 enrollment is down by 3,000 students,” reported principal Cynthia Larkin. “So student enrollment has dropped in numerous schools.”

     There is no definitive conclusion as to why Morse and SDUSD is losing students, but one reason for the decline in enrollment would be competition with charter schools and other high schools.

     “When students do not pass their classes and are failing, they choose to attend other schools,” Larkin said.

     Another contributing factor to the decline may be how prospective students perceive Morse.

     “There are families who do not believe that Morse is a safe campus,” Larkin stressed.

     As a result of low enrollment, class sizes have increased. Schedule changes were already made and a long time substitute teacher has been let go.

     “As a campus, we need to do better,” Larkin emphasized. “We must stop perpetuating the negative stereotypes of students of color.”

     Not much can be done right now, but by changing the way the community and families see Morse, enrollment should rise in the future.