Uncertainty about future kindergarten enrollment in the York Suburban School District has put a hold on decisions about closing an elementary school, and other considerations about district resources.
A Pennsylvania Economy League study from December 2012 had predicted the district's student population would experience a slight decrease over the next six to 10 years.
And York Suburban saw a sharp drop in kindergarten enrollment last fall, from a norm of 190 new students to just 159, a number school officials said was surprisingly low considering birth statistics from five years earlier.
This fall, the district's enrollment bounced back to 194 kindergarten students, according to the official Oct. 1 enrollment numbers.
Superintendent Kate Orban said the school district works from the league's projections for numerous planning measures, including staffing, classroom supplies and busing requirements.
Orban said the league is reworking its projections for the district with the new enrollment numbers, and will have those projections for five and 10 years in December.
Orban said the league's projections are most accurate for the next five years, because it works from birth and relevant census data.
"Beyond that it's just mathematical trending," Orban said.
Orban said there was little explanation for the drop in enrollment last year, which had school officials puzzled.
A comparison: Orban said she is independently comparing the league's projections with the actual enrollments for the past several years, to see if league's projections have been accurate in the past. Orban said she will present those findings to the school board when her comparison is complete.
Regardless, decisions about resources and facilities - like choosing to close Indian Rock Elementary - will be on hold until the amended league study is provided, Orban said.
York Suburban has been reviewing a feasibility study completed last summer that suggested the district might save money by closing Indian Rock Elementary School.
The study showed Indian Rock and East York Elementary need improvements. The former needs a new roof at a cost of $1.6 million; the latter needs a new heating and air conditioning system at a cost of $1.6 million.
Closing Indian Rock would make more sense, according to the study, because East York has more room for expansion should the district need more elementary school classrooms at some point.
Indian Rock has about 326 students in grades 3 through 5.
York Suburban officials have said a decision on Indian Rock won't be made anytime soon and that, even if the school closed, they don't believe if would be until sometime after the 2014-15 school year.
Shannon Prusak contributed to this report. Reach Nikelle Snader at firstname.lastname@example.org.