Geneva D-304 hires demographer to address enrollment projections

Supt. Andy Barrett: ‘We want to make sure we have the best data in hand’

Geneva Unit District 304's new superintendent, Andy Barrett, greets students and teachers at Western Avenue Elementary School Wednesday August 16, 2023 in Geneva.

GENEVA – The Geneva School District 304 board on Monday approved a demographic and housing study contract for almost $22,000 as part of its strategic planning process amid declining enrollment.

The contract is with Charles Kofron, doing business as Charles Kofron, Ph.D. LLC for $21,875.

Superintendent Andy Barrett had recommended the district do a demographic study because the last one was done in 2006. The district’s enrollment is declining and enrollment trends are tied to its strategic planning process.

“Preparing, setting our district on the right track based on what our enrollment trends are, is one of the things that came up from all of our stakeholders,” Barrett said, referring to the district seeking input from residents and employees.

“To do that, we want to make sure we have the best data in hand when we kind of start that work,” Barrett said.

The district’s enrollment is 5,048. In 2004, enrollment was 5,723.

The district sent out a request for proposals in January for a demographic study and received five responses, he said.

“We have a recommendation tonight for you all to approve to engage with a firm to do this study, Dr. Charles Kofron,” Barrett said. “He comes highly recommended. He has done demographic studies for districts across the country, but it is great to know he has done many right in our area.”

Barrett said he called superintendents and business officials to get information about Kofron and he came highly recommended.

Barrett also credited Assistant Superintendent for Business Services Todd Latham for spearheading the request for proposals process.

“We’re excited to have this on [the agenda] tonight,” Barrett said. “We can get him going as quick as tomorrow.”

The study could be completed by April or May.

Kofron will map the district using Kane County’s geographic information system parcel and address point data, add tax assessment and housing data, match addresses through 10 years of birth records from 2011 to 2021 and add student and birth counts to develop a five-year enrollment projection to 2032-33, documents show.

In the shorter term, Kofron will look at students who stay within the district from year to year to give the district information for the 2024-27 school years, documents show.

Depending on when birth records for 2022 are available from the Illinois Department of Public Health, Kofron will be able to extend the shorter projection period to the 2028-29 school year, documents show.