By Karen Billing
The first day of school is Aug. 27 and the Del Mar Union School District is preparing for the new year despite ever-shifting enrollment. Tim Asfazadour, assistant superintendent of human resources, said the numbers are always fluctuating as 20 more students will enroll one day and 10 un-enroll the next.
A total of 159 new students have enrolled between June 17 and Aug. 10. District enrollment on the last day of school was 4,348 and the current tentative total enrollment is at 4,323.
As of Aug. 10, Ocean Air had the largest population of students with 799 — its largest class being in second grade with 126 students.
Asfazadour said as it stood on Aug. 15, the district will open the school year with 196 classrooms, down from last year’s 199. There is one less classroom at Del Mar Hills, Ashley Falls and Sycamore Ridge. While there is one less classroom, it doesn’t mean there are less students, he said.
While last year the district only had one combination class, it is looking at opening with five combination classes at Ashley Falls, Carmel Del Mar, Del Mar Heights, Del Mar Hills and Ocean Air.
“We do our best to avoid that if we can but at a certain point we don’t have any options,” Asfazadour said.
This year’s addition of Option Areas for attendance has had a positive effect, he said. So far 12 students have opted to go to Ashley Falls from the Sage Canyon and Sycamore Ridge option area, 11 students opted for Carmel Del Mar from the Del Mar area and 56 students have opted out of Ocean Air to attend Sage Canyon and Torrey Hills, helping offset the crowded campus.
The district’s goal remains to keep students in their neighborhood schools without involuntary transfers but at last week’s meeting, 21 new students are impacted by involuntary transfers.