November 28, 2021

Truxton Academy planning to reduce enrollment

Bob Ellis/file photo

Cortland Standard file photo of Truxton Academy Charter School.

Truxton Academy Charter school expects to reduce enrollment in 2019-20 in its charter more than 35% from what it projected for kindergarten to second grade when it opened last year, although school leaders expect long-term enrollment will remain stable.

The school was originally authorized to have 68 students in kindergarten through second grade for the 2019-20 school year and planned for up to 141 students in kindergarten through sixth grade by 2023-24, according to an email from SUNY Charter Schools Institute to Homer Central School District Superintendent Thomas Turck.

The school requested the enrollment numbers be revised to 44 students enrolled for kindergarten to second grade for the 2019-20 school year and 138 students for kindergarten to sixth grade in 2023-24.

The school is still on track to add a third grade for the 2020-21 school year and continue adding a grade each year up to sixth grade by the 2023-24, said Cindy Denkenberger, president of Truxton Academy’s Board of Trustees.

She did not project numbers would for the 2020-21 school year; the enrollment process is just beginning.

Still, nobody from the public spoke Tuesday at a public hearing the institute required on the revision at the Homer school board meeting.

Denkenberger could not provide budget information on the school.

Denkenberger said that the school was optimistic in how many students would be enrolled when it opened in September; it planned for 68, and got 44.

“We have found it is something we have to prove to the community and parents are still learning about our school,” she said.

The school is going to be more realistic when looking at enrollment numbers moving forward as the school adds a grade level per year until it gets to sixth grade for the 2023-24 school year, Denkenberger said. This plan is still on schedule she said and the school is just starting the application process for enrolling third-graders.

“Hopefully, there will be no more revisions in this regard,” Denkenberger said.

The school has 22 students from Homer, which was part of the reason why this change was discussed, Turck said. Those numbers aren’t being affected with the change.

SUNY Charter Schools Institute will address the revision as early as March 10, according to the the email.

Truxton Academy Charter School is one of two rural charter schools in New York. The other, New Roots Charter School, is in Ithaca.