PPS Releases District Enrollment Numbers
By Aavin Mangalmurti (Junior)
On Tuesday, November 15, Pittsburgh Public Schools (PPS) released its annual district enrollment numbers. With this release came individual data sets for all district schools including Obama. The numbers this year show gradual changes in three fields at Obama.
Overall school enrollment decreased. From 2020, the earliest year shown in the enrollment summary, total Obama enrollment is down 109 students. The biggest loss came between last school year and this school year, when enrollment decreased by 83.
Total enrollment is now at 750 students, including the middle and high schools.
The reason behind this loss is likely intentional decreasing in admittance numbers by school administration. In 2020, Obama had 140 6th graders and 148 9th graders. This year, the school has 95 6th graders and 138 9th graders.
Two years ago, the average high school grade had 122 students. This year, the average is 113. Likewise, the middle school had an average of 124 students. This year the same body has an average of 99 students
The ratio of female to male students has also gotten closer to 1:1. This was a purposeful effect of decreasing enrollment numbers, says IB Coordinator Mr. Ehman, who also deals with admission.
In 2020, about 60% of Obama students were female. That same figure has dropped down to around 55% for the 2022-23 year.
Interestingly, while the school overall has a female majority, among white students, the proportions flip. Currently, of 130 white students, only around 41% are female. This is a recent change. In 2020, around 49% (79 of 162) of white students were female.
The ratio of not economically disadvantaged (ED) to economically disadvantaged students has also dropped precipitously. In 2020, 451 students were ED. This number has stayed relatively constant. This year, 450 are ED. Contrasting this, in 2020, 408 students were not ED. That number has dropped down to 300 this year.
Expressed in percentage form, around 53% of students were ED in 2020, and 60% are ED this year.
Broad changes in enrollment demographics are reflective mostly of a decrease in overall enrollment that allowed the administration to more selectively curate Obama’s enrollment portfolio, but that explanation does not fully support certain changes.
Why has the number of non-ED students at Obama gone down, while their numbers in PPS as a whole have stayed relatively constant?
Maybe this reflects a gradual shunning of magnet schools and a growing seeking of charter schools among weather families. Over the past 3 years of data, Obama, SciTech, and CAPA, all PPS magnet schools, have had a yearly decrease in not ED enrollment while feeder schools have had little to no change.