Pupil Nondiscrimination Self-Evaluation Resources

Enrollment Trends in Classes and Programs

It is probably impossible to enumerate all the factors that directly or indirectly affect student choices in class or program selection. However, it is possible to identify some factors that may limit their choices. These factors may include eligibility criteria, or course descriptions or content that fail to attract students. Other factors may include the type of counseling students receive, whether the teacher is welcoming and supportive, whether information is provided to all parents/guardians, whether only certain groups are actively encouraged, and even peer pressure.

This section asks the district to review enrollment trends in classes and programs and to reflect upon any contributing factors, which may include those mentioned above. In order to accurately detect any trends or patterns based on protected group status, data from at least the past three years should be reviewed. Furthermore, as a reminder, the data should only be disaggregated and reviewed on the basis of race, sex, national origin (including students with limited-English proficiency) and disability.

The district, in reviewing this data, should consider whether some groups are over-or underrepresented in certain classes or programs. Class and program data should be compared with overall enrollment data to determine if there is proportionate representation. The department suggests that any disparity greater than 5% be considered significant. Courses or programs that merit particular attention include advanced and/or college preparatory classes, talented and gifted programs, internship programs, vocational education classes and programs, individualized study classes, and special education programs.

Finally, the district should review factors that may contribute to any enrollment trends. For example, eligibility criteria should be evaluated, as well as how students and parents are informed of course or program opportunities. The district should also attempt to identify and consider any other factors that may appear to affect class and program enrollment.

By evaluating this area, school districts will have an opportunity to:

  • Determine whether some groups are underrepresented in certain courses or programs.
  • Evaluate the effect of current practices on course selection and student achievement.
  • Develop strategies to increase class and program participation by underrepresented groups.

SUGGESTED QUESTIONS

Patterns or Trends

  1. In responding to the following questions, disaggregate class and program data from the last three years on the basis of race, sex, disability and national origin, and compare with overall student enrollment data. Identify trends and patterns.
    • Are some groups under-or overrepresented in the special education programs?
    • Are some groups underrepresented in the gifted and talented programs?
    • Are some groups underrepresented in advanced and/or college preparatory classes?
    • Are some groups underrepresented in vocational education classes and programs?
    • Are some groups under-or overrepresented in any other class or program?
  2. What types of data or information would improve the district's ability to evaluate trends and patterns in course and program enrollment?
  3. What conclusions has the district reached regarding enrollment trends in courses and programs?

Contributing Factors

  1. In responding to the following questions, review the selection processes used in selecting or enrolling students for participation in programs and courses.
    • What is the selection process for placement in talented and gifted programs?
    • What is the selection process for placement in advanced and/or college preparatory classes?
    • What is the selection process for placement in vocational education classes and programs?
    • Is there any other criterion or prerequisite that is used that may contribute to the trends identified?
    • Do the courses offered lead all students to proficient and above performance on state tests?
  2. How might the selection processes described above affect the participation and achievement of certain groups? How could they be more inclusive for all?
  3. In responding to the following questions, review course descriptions or other forms of information about educational planning.
    • Would any description make a certain type of student feel unwelcome?
    • Does each description reflect a curriculum that is relevant and of interest to all types of students?
  4. Do guidance counselors demonstrate high expectations for all students and assist students in acquiring the resources and opportunities they need to succeed? If so, how is this demonstrated?
  5. Do teachers demonstrate high expectations for all students and assist student in acquiring the resources and opportunities they need to succeed? If so, how is this demonstrated?
  6. Are all students encouraged, welcomed into, and supported in advanced and/or college preparatory courses? Are accommodations available for students with special needs?
  7. Are all students encouraged to take courses leading to proficient and above performance in the core academic areas?
  8. How does the district involve and support parents in their child's learning? How does the district involve all parents?
  9. Is information regarding course and program opportunities provided to parents/guardians? Is the information translated and provided in languages other than English? Is the information available in Braille or audio versions?
  10. Are all areas of the school accessible to those with physical disabilities?
  11. What factors has the district identified that may affect course and program participation?
  12. What conclusions has the district reached regarding the effectiveness of current practices in meeting established class and program enrollment goals?

Recommendations

  1. What are your recommendations for increasing class and program enrollment and achievement by underrepresented groups? How will these recommendations be implemented?

Reporting

Prepare a summary of your evaluation of status of pupil nondiscrimination and equality of educational opportunity with regard to enrollment trends in classes and programs. Include in the summary your findings, analysis, supporting data, and recommendations for improvement. Also include information on how your recommendations might be implemented. Include this summary as part of your report.