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Penn-Trafford enrollment down, but not as much as other districts

| Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Though Penn-Trafford's enrollment fell by 15 percent over the past decade, 10 other Westmoreland County school districts lost a higher percentage of students, state Department of Education records show.

Penn-Trafford officials released the data Monday after board President P. Jay Tray mentioned the countywide decline in student population — 13 percent over the past decade — at last week's public meeting.

Tray broached the topic amid discussion that school board presidents will meet through the Westmoreland Intermediate Unit to address matters common to all districts.

The presidents plan to hold a first meeting in October, he said.

“This will be on an ongoing basis as we attempt to begin the process of sharing concerns and maybe services, at one stage,” Tray said.

In 2012-13, Penn-Trafford had 4,101 students, 733 less than in the 2002-03 school year and ranking fourth among the 17 districts in the county. District officials are expecting to enroll 4,081 students this month, said Matt Harris, interim Superintendent.

The biggest drop was in the neighboring Jeannette district. Its 1,106 students in 2012-13 represented a 27-percent decline since 2002-03. Another neighbor, Hempfield, remained at the top of the list with 6,078, though that was 532 fewer than 10 years ago.

Only Norwin, the county's second-largest district, had any growth. It gained 57 students over the past decade to reach 5,207 last year. Even that was only a 1-percent increase.

Chris Foreman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8671, or cforeman@tribweb.com.

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