Saturday, October 16, 2021

CUSD Enrollment Rebounds 10% with Return to In-person Learning

After the COVID-related enrollment decline at Coronado Unified School District (CUSD), the fall 2021 return to full in-person learning has led to a 10% increase in enrollment with an additional 251 students attending CUSD.

Data provided by CUSD.

In the fall of 2020 CUSD offered only remote learning, called Distance Bridge Learning, but in the spring of 2021, families could opt in for their students to attend school in-person, either part of a school day or select days of the week for reduced capacity. Safety precautions required students to wear masks, and classrooms were set up for social distancing with plexiglass dividers at each desk. For fall 2021 the dividers were removed as classrooms are back at full capacity while students and staff wear masks indoors.

In January 2021 Coronado High School (CHS) student Anna Iverson transferred to the Academy of Our Lady of Peace (OLP) in San Diego because OLP offered full in-person learning. In August 2021, Anna happily returned to CHS sharing, “I love the Coronado school community and my friends, and going to a different school made me leave them.” 

Each of the four CUSD schools (Coronado High School, Coronado Middle School, Village Elementary and Silver Strand Elementary) experienced different enrollment trends throughout the pandemic although they’ve all had an increase this fall 2021.

Silver Strand Elementary School

The smallest school in CUSD, Silver Strand Elementary serves K-5 students from Silver Strand Naval Housing and the Coronado Cays. After the initial decline from spring 2020, Silver Strand saw the largest percent increase (21%) for fall 2021.

Spring 2020Fall 2020Spring 2021Fall 2021
Enrolled students355282278335
Change from prior semester-73 (-21%)-4 (-1%)+57 (+21%)


Village ElementaryVillage Elementary School

Village Elementary experienced the largest initial decline in enrollment due to COVID but has also seen the highest number of returning students (108) representing a +18% increase for fall 2021.

Spring 2020Fall 2020Spring 2021Fall 2021
Enrolled students807649612720
Change from prior semester-158 (-20%)-37 (-6%)+108 (+18%)


Coronado Middle SchoolCoronado Middle School 

Coronado Middle School serves 6th, 7th and 8th grades and followed a similar trend with decreasing enrollment after the start of COVID, but the student population grew by 9% in fall 2021.

Spring 2020Fall 2020Spring 2021Fall 2021
Enrolled students754633618673
Change from prior semester-121 (-16%)-15 (-2%)+55 (+9%)


Coronado High School 

CHS enrollment experienced the least fluctuation in students during the pandemic and the fall 2021 semester.

Spring 2020Fall 2020Spring 2021Fall 2021
Enrolled students1,1191,0731,0411,072
Change from prior semester-46 (-4%)-32 (-3%)+31 (+3%)


While each of the four CUSD schools increased enrollment for fall 2021, no school reached their enrollment numbers from before the pandemic. The most recent United States Census shows California experienced a population decline between January 2020 and January 2021. Real estate website also reports the typical Coronado home price increased 17.1% between July 2020 and July 2021 to a new high of $2,259,524. These factors could have also impacted the decline in CUSD student enrollment. 

Going forward, CUSD hopes to increase enrollment with a continued focus on in-person learning and the potential addition of more inter-district transfers.

RELATED: At the school board meeting on September 9, Deputy Superintendent Donnie Salamanca presented the 2020-2021 Unaudited Actuals Financial Report, which illustrated that the district was “on track” for bridge to basic aid, and eased along by one-time temporary COVID relief funds granted by the state and federal government. Although the “hold harmless” initiative has helped with school funding, next year CUSD will need to return to pre-COVID enrollment levels which is around 3100 students, a 300 student increase from the current 2800.

The full bike parking area at CMS is a sign of the return to in person learning.

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Chloe Berk
Chloe has called Coronado home since she could walk or talk and considers herself a true Islander. She is currently a student at Coronado High School and a writer for the Islander Times. After studying and writing articles, she enjoys volleyball, the beach, and her newly-adopted dogs from PAWS.
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