Enrollment Reports Show Bursting Elementary Schools, Nearly as Many Latino Students as White Students

Official school enrollment figures were recently released by the state and the Revere School System’s total enrollment is at an all-time high, with 1,000 more students in 2011 than in 2001.

The district’s population was at 6,735 in the official ‘October 1’ reports that are taken by the state’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). That number includes students from Revere who have been placed outside of the district.

Superintendent Paul Dakin said that the most striking thing is that the enrollment has ballooned in the last four years, growing by 607 students in that time period.

The schools grew by 228 students just this year alone.

It was cause for Dakin to add to his call for construction of another new school beyond the McKinley School.

“If the numbers keep going the way they are with another 607 kids in the next four years, we will absolutely not have anywhere to put them,” he said.

Dakin plans to come before the City Council this month to seek approval for filing a new State of Interest with the Massachusetts School Building Authority. That filing will request the start of a process to build a sixth new school at a location as yet undetermined.

By and large, the population is booming at the lower grades, with the elementary schools showing the largest growth this year.

An example of that is the Whelan School, which has 752 students, and the Garfield Elementary, which has 791 students. Even the tiny McKinley School is nearing 500 students, with 483 enrolled.

“I don’t think it’s a baby boom,” he said. “I think it’s a reflection of people moving in to the community and they are young families. At the Parent Information Center when they register a new person for third grade, the parents usually have two other young ones in there that will be coming to school soon too. The elementary schools are bursting. The people moving in are of a young age and they have young kids and bigger families and even extended families.”

The reports also detailed the changing demographic of the schools, and essentially, the community.

This year was the second year that the number of minority students have exceeded the number of white students, with 44 percent white and 56 percent non-white.

This was the first year in the district that Latino students were nearly as numerous as white students, quantifying the increasing young Latino population in Revere.

The district had 42 percent Latino students and 44 percent white students.

Additionally, some 48 percent of students in Revere indicate that their first language is not English.

The next highest racial group was Asian students, who make up 6 percent of the enrollment.

Those demographic numbers, however, are more for adults, Dakin said. He said that students – even at the high school – are less likely to be aware of the racial or ethnic differences in their schools. He said that is a generational difference that he has noted, and one that took root more than 10 years ago.

“Kids are much more blinded to these differences than adults, especially the kids of today,” he said. “It probably started with the classes some 10 years ago. The kids in that generation are blinded to cultural differences. There are some that are only white to white and some that are only Latino to Latino, but for the most part at the high school, it’s blind.”

One of the more striking numbers – though it did not increase or decrease – was the amount of poverty indicated by students in the schools.

This year’s figure showed that 71 percent of students live below the poverty line, which is disturbing to district officials, but not a new phenomenon.

“We’re a poor community and we’re poorer than we’ve ever been,” Dakin said. “That number has leveled off in that area, but it’s up dramatically in the last 10 to 15 years. It’s a reflection of the transiency.”

The school with the highest rates of poverty were the McKinley (84 percent) and the Garfield Elementary (83 percent), but even the lowest level of poverty – at the Whelan School (64 percent) – was far more than 50 percent.

Dakin said numbers at the high school are probably similar, but reporting is far less accurate as students don’t usually return forms.

One area where there were few disparities in poverty, language and demographics was in the middle schools.

“That’s why we went to the lottery system in the first place because it does even everything out at an early age,” he said. “You can see how the numbers would be in disparity at the middle school too if we were to group kids together in neighborhood middle schools. We have deliberately prevented that and the numbers show it.”

5 comments for “Enrollment Reports Show Bursting Elementary Schools, Nearly as Many Latino Students as White Students

  1. Lmao
    November 3, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    Like i say Revere is a 3rd World City

  2. Anonymous
    November 6, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    It’s sad to hear Revere being described as a poor community–not making fun of the comment, or of the stats or people that it may reflect–just reflecting on how Revere has changed, as have many communities.  In the middle and late 20th century, for example, Revere had many second-generation Italian families who built up personal businesses in the trades that did really well.  I think that many of them have moved on and far, far away since then, though.  And certainly, there’s no baby boom.  If anything, nationwide statistics show that the real “Baby Boomers,” those defined as born between 1947 and 1964 or so, are this year all starting to retire and comprising the increasingly largest demographic in our society.  The number of people making up the generations that have come after the Boomers are actually smaller in numbers altogether.  And the Boomers will be working and living longer, experiencing health problems that were more fatal for their parents but which are more chronic for them, postponing retirement necessarily, and needing more to balance all of this with caregiving for partners, parents, grandparents, non-traditional families, and children.  Latino or not, today’s generations are fewer in number and will be having more people and problems to support, and to be educated and employed in, with regards to this largest, growing, and lasting Boomers population.

  3. November 6, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    The sad thing is, that Revere, with it’s proximity to Boston, miles of Atlantic shoreline, and T access should have had a brilliant opportunity to attract a diverse range of residents from all walks of life and all income levels.   Because the traditional old residents of Revere are so insular and resistant to “outsiders”, this never happens.  Look at the local political scene: people treat people from cities that are less than 10 miles away as if they’re foreigners, and act as if a person is not qualified to run for office unless they’re at least a 6th generation Revere resident.   

    Because of this insular attitude that afflicts most of the Revere old timers, very few outsiders really want to move to Revere by choice.   Of course “outsiders” still move to Revere, it’s just that they’re usually people who move here as a last resort because it’s all they can afford (because Revere’s undesirable characteristics make it one of the cheapest places that’s commuting distance from Boston and Cambridge).  This is sad, because people who move to a new city by choice will tend to work harder to make it nicer.   People who move in because they have no other choice won’t, because their main goal in life is to get far enough ahead that they can leave Revere.  In a lot of ways, it seems that the insular, racist, anti-intellectual old folks from Revere have gotten exactly the city that they deserve.

  4. Jled96
    November 8, 2011 at 10:52 pm

    This is all true, as a 3rd generation revere resident and proud homeowner, My extended family assures me that there has been no positive changes in revere’s atmosphere since revere’s declaration as a city in the early 1900’s. The city could have been a great prominent place next to boston, but the ho hum attitude has kept it exactly where it was 100 years ago. NOTHING ever gets done in revere unless it has too, and thats where we are at today!!!!!

  5. Reverejimmy
    November 10, 2011 at 12:44 pm

     check out garfield ave, if you dare. dump dump…

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