Enrollment increase is smaller than expected in Boston public schools

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Far fewer students than projected enrolled in Boston public schools this year, causing the School Department to potentially have opened more classrooms than necessary, according to a report presented to the School Committee Wednesday night.

School officials had boldly predicted earlier this year that fall enrollment would increase in preschool through second grade by more than 1,000 students, bringing districtwide enrollment to its highest level in eight years.

But only 382 additional students actually enrolled in the lower grades. Making matters worse, enrollment in grades 6 and 12 unexpectedly tumbled by the hundreds.

Now enrollment for preschool through grade 12 stands at 56,735 students—slightly lower than last school year and significantly less than the 58,284 that was originally planned for.

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